Radical Islamic preacher Abu Hamza pleaded not guilty to 11 terror charges in a New York court. A trial date of 26 August 2013 has been set.
Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was extradited from Britain to the U.S. last Friday, will be tried under the name of Mustafa Kamel Mustafa next year, the BBC reported. Prior to his extradition, Hamza was jailed in Britain since 2004 on separate charges.
Hamza is charged with "11 counts of conspiracy to take hostages in Yemen in 1998, supporting al-Qaeda, advocating jihad in Afghanistan and attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon."
The one eyed, hooked Hamza was well known for consorting with Islamic extremists, including shoe bomber Richard Reid, during his days at London's Finsbury Mosque.
Alun Jones QC, who represented Hamza in his extradition proceedings, has written an article in the Independent questioning why Hamza should have been sent to the U.S. instead of standing trial in Britain. He writes that Hamza was entitled to believe that the conditions in Belmarsh Prison "are preferable to detention in the U.S." Jones further claims "even those who wish Abu Hamza ill should be shocked at the attitude which permits extradition."
Digital Journal reported that Hamza appeared in court without his infamous hooks, which were confiscated as a security risk by the Bureau of Prisons. Hamza's lawyers have demanded the hooks be returned to the radical cleric, as without them "he will not be able to function in a civilised manner."
In addition to being deprived of his hooks, Hamza's lawyers claim he suffers from depression, chronic sleep deprivation, diabetes and other ailments.