Hostage testifies against British hate preacher

2014-05-07 22:25
(<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com'>Shutterstock</a>)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

New York - British hate preacher Abu Hamza admitted supplying advice and a satellite phone to the Islamist kidnappers of 16 Western tourists in Yemen in 1998, a survivor told a court on Wednesday.

Mary Quin, a US-New Zealand citizen who currently heads a government agency in New Zealand, confronted Abu Hamza head-on in a Manhattan federal court, where he is on trial for 11 kidnapping and terror charges.

She spoke about the terrifying 24-hour kidnapping that ended with four hostages being killed and testified to meeting Abu Hamza in October 2000 while researching her published memoir "Kidnapped in Yemen".

During that interview at Finsbury Park Mosque in London, Quin said Abu Hamza justified the kidnapping and killing of civilians in defence of Islam.

"Islamically it's a good thing to do," she quoted Abu Hamza as saying of the kidnapping of foreign tourists.

He told Quin that the chief kidnapper, Abu Hasan, called him during the kidnapping and that he advised him to stay back to avoid being killed during the Yemen army's rescue operation, she said.

When she asked how the kidnappers got their satellite phone, Abu Hamza said: "It came from outside."

"From you?" Quin asked.

"Yeah perhaps," he replied, according to her testimony and a transcript of the interview submitted as evidence.

The cleric said the motive was to exchange the Australian, British and US hostages for detainees in Yemen, but was vague on whether they included Britons.

Five British men and an Algerian were arrested in Yemen on 23 December, five days before the kidnapping.

Three other British men were arrested on 27 January 1999. Among the eight Britons were a son and step-son of Abu Hamza.

At no point did he express regret to Quin for the four Westerners who died during the rescue operation, she said.

At one point, however, he even implied they got off lightly by saying it would have been "easy" to have fired a rocket and blown up a car of tourists.

The kidnapping was intended to undermine the Yemeni government and end the tourist industry, which was bankrolling "unIslamic behaviour", Abu Hamza told her.

'Defendant was laughing'

Quin said Abu Hamza laughed after asking why none of the hostages had a cell phone.

"The defendant was laughing and said you should have a compass as well," Quin said.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 56, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges but faces life in prison if convicted.

Blind in one eye and with both hands blown off in an explosion in Afghanistan, he sat quietly in tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt, taking notes.

Quin said he claimed not to know the arrested Britons were going to Yemen, but if he had, would have advised them to travel under false identities.

He would also have told them to take bombs and "some James Bond things", she quoted Abu Hamza as saying.

She was the second of the two US former hostages to testify about their horrific ordeal and the more than two-hour gunfight that ended in their rescue.

The kidnappers lined up hostages on a berm and opened fire between their legs, she said.

"I could feel a bullet go so close to my face I felt the air move," she said. She described the "zinging sound of the bullets" as "just like in the movies".

At one point she grabbed a gun off a kidnapper nicknamed "Purple Skirt" because of his traditional attire, in her bid to run for safety.

He was shot and trying to hold onto his AK-47, as the two screamed at each other, she said.

"I put my foot down on his head and that gave me enough leverage to rip the gun out of his hand."

Abu Hamza was indicted in the United States in 2004 and served eight years in prison in Britain before losing his last appeal against extradition in 2012.

Read more on:    uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.