November 15, 2007 / 1:39 PM / in 12 years

FACTBOX: Cleric Abu Hamza faces U.S. extradition

(Reuters) - A British court ruled on Thursday that radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri could be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges.

The U.S. indictment accuses Hamza of attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon from 1999 to early 2000, and providing support to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Here are key facts about Hamza.

* Hamza was born Mustafa Kamel Mustafa on April 15, 1958, in Egypt. He came to Britain as an engineering student at the end of the 1970s, married a British woman and worked as a doorman at discos in London.

* Hamza lost an eye and both hands while living in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He said it happened while carrying out humanitarian work. The authorities say he was wounded while fighting for the Mujahideen against Soviet occupation.

On his return to Britain, he later became infamous for wearing a steel hook on his right arm, earning him nicknames such as “Dr Hook” in the British tabloid press.

* Hamza was the main preacher at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, which British police say was a magnet for radicals. Among those who visited the mosque were convicted “shoebomber” Richard Reid and jailed September 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui.

British media said three men who carried out suicide attacks on London on July 7, 2005, attended his sermons.

* Hamza went on trial in Britain in January 2006 on 16 charges including the killing of non-Muslims. He was convicted in February 2006 on 11 counts including soliciting murder, stirring up racial hatred and possessing a training manual “of use to terrorists”. He was given a seven-year prison term.

* In 2007, Hamza was ordered to pay back 1 million pounds in state legal aid after a judge ruled he had lied about owning more than one house and had said he had no assets.

Writing by Michael Holden and David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

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