New York: Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was flown in from the UK along with four other terror suspects, will remain in detention till his formal arraignment on October 9, a US court has ordered. Hamza, who had fought extradition to the US for years and made his initial appearance in a federal court in New York on Saturday, will be charged for plotting to take hostages and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda.
Besides Hamza, four others who were extradited are Adel Abdul Bary, Khalid al-Fawwaz, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan. While Khalid al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary appeared alongside Hamza in New York, Syed Talha Ahsan (33) and Babar Ahmad (38) were arraigned in New Haven to charges that they provided terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya with cash, recruits and equipment.
Hamza, Bary and Fawwaz had arrived at Westchester County Airport north of New York City in a Gulfstream V aircraft, the FBI said. Fawwaz and Bary were arraigned before US Magistrate Judge Frank Maas in a brief court hearing during which both entered not guilty pleas through their defense lawyers.
Hamza, who is yet to enter his plea, did not speak at his initial hearing. He appeared in court before Maas separately after the hearing for Fawwaz and Bary. Maas ordered that all three men be detained and they are scheduled to appear before federal judges in New York on October 9.
Wearing navy blue jail fatigues, Hamza did not have the hooks that he wears in place of his hands which he lost in injuries apparently sustained in Afghanistan. Amid high security, authorities had temporarily removed Hamza's prosthetic limbs.
His lawyer Sabrina Shroff asked the federal judge that Hamza be given a prosthetic device, and also requested for special shoes and access to a dictation device because of his disability, besides permission to take diabetes medication.