5 terror suspects appear in US courts after extradition
NEW YORK — An extremist Egyptian-born preacher entered a U.S. courtroom yesterday for the first time to face multiple terrorism charges, complaining that his prosthetic hooks, medication and special shoes were taken away from him. The preacher was one of five terror defendants rounded up in Britain and extradited overnight to the U.S.
Abu Hamza al-Masri was surrounded by several marshals in a Manhattan courtroom as he faced charges he conspired with Seattle men to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and helped abduct 16 hostages, two of them American tourists, in Yemen in 1998.
The 54-year-old, white-haired Al-Masri exposed both of his arms through his short-sleeved prison shirt. His court-appointed lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, asked that al-Masri, indicted under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, have his prosthetics immediately returned “so he can use his arms.”
In the 1990s, al-Masri turned London’s Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists, attracting men including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.
Al-Masri — jailed since 2004 in Britain on separate charges — was flown overnight to New York from London along with four others accused of U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and with helping terror operations in Afghanistan and Chechnya. The men, who could all face life in prison, have been battling extradition for between eight to 14 years.
Insurgents kill 2 US troops in eastern Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents yesterday killed two American troops in eastern Afghanistan, an area that has seen heavy fighting in recent months, the U.S. military said.
No other information about the deaths was disclosed, pending notification of family members.
But a U.S. military official said two U.S. special operations forces were killed by small arms fire in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul.