Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Closing Statements Made in Case Against Accused Terrorist

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A jury is set to start deliberating in the case of an accused terrorist known for waving his prosthetic hook in the air while giving fiery speeches. U.S. officials say he's also responsible for helping stage some deadly acts. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Accused terrorist Abu Hamza al-Masri shook his head as federal prosecutors delivered their closing arguments to the jury.

Those prosecutors and defense attorneys tried to pack in a lot of information and details in six hours of statements to 12 jurors who've heard plenty already.

"They had a lot to digest from both sides and I think they paid attention and that is all I can ask. I just ask that they listen to what I say and see if it makes since to them," said defense attorney Jeremy Schneider.

Federal prosecutors tried to drive home their point that al-Masri is evil and was bent on killing Americans and non-Muslims.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian McGinley said quote, "The defendant is not on trial for his words, but his statements are important. In the end his words match his actions. He is no peacemaker."

Al-Masri was a fiery Islamic preacher in London in the 1990's and often spoke out against what he called America's and Britain's unfair policies against Muslim nations.

Prosecutors say he went far beyond that, however. He's accused of helping to set up a terror training camp in Oregon, providing support to terrorist groups and helping in the kidnapping of tourists in Yemen, including Americans. Four hostages were killed during that incident in 1998.

But during his testimony, al-Masri said he didn't do any of it.

"And he maintains that and he knows what the issues are and he has to wait it out. And he has had a long time to wait. And now at least we will get some decision on that," said defense attorney Joshua Dratel.

In 2004, al-Masri was arrested and served time in Britain. He was extradited to face charges here in 2012.

This has been a long trial for members of the jury. It has been going on for about five weeks. Now, it will be left up to them to decide the fate of Abu Hamza al-Masri. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP