Radical Islamist preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri, finally extradited to the U.S. from Britain, has lost his trademark hooks which officials at the Bureau of Prisons deemed a security risk.
According to the New York Post U.S. taxpayers will foot the estimated $16,000 bill for a pair of "no-frills, cable-operated rubber hands" to replace Hamza's infamous hooks. Hamza, who is currently residing at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan, lost his hooks on arrival in the U.S. on Friday, prompting his lawyer to demand their return.
On Saturday Hamza appeared in court minus his hooks, which had been confiscated by the Bureau of Prisons. As Hamza stood in the dock sporting just stubs, Hamza's lawyer Sabrina Shroff told Judge Frank Maas that her client could not bathe without his hooks. She explained to the court that without the hooks "he will not be able to function in a civilised manner."
On Tuesday Hamza was in court, once again without his hook, pleading not guilty to 11 charges related to terrorism offenses. Reuters reported his court appointed-lawyer Jeremy Schneider raised the issue of Hamza's hooks, saying "As you can imagine, he's not happy that he's in a situation like this without the use of his prosthetics."
The New York Post reported that without the use of his hooks or replacement prosthetics, Hamza could have grounds for appeal by claiming his civil rights are being violated. Hence the prospect of prosthetic hands being provided by the taxpayers.