Federal Investigator, Terror Camp Trainee Testify At Trial Of Mustafa Kamel Mustafa
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The terrorism trial of Mustafa Kamel Mustafa continued in Manhattan federal court Monday.
Federal investigator George Corey described his years spent investigating hundreds of terrorism cases mostly involving al Qaeda during testimony Monday, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
He spoke of the embassy bombings in Africa, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen and the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
While he said he knew of nothing to tie Mustafa to the planning of those attacks, Corey testified that the defendant did speak out about them in broadcast interviews.
After 9/11, Mustafa was asked if he was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center and killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
“Everybody was happy,” Mustafa said, according to Corey’s testimony. “We want to use any means to attack the west and keep them from killing people just because they can fly higher.”
Mustafa, 55, is an Egyptian imam who led a London mosque more than a dozen years ago. He is also known by the aliases Abu Hamza and Abu Hamza al-Masri.
Earlier Monday, Muslim convert David Smith finished his testimony.
He had spent time at the terror training camp Mustafa is accused of setting up outside Bly, Ore. in 1999 and 2000.
Smith described the purported terror camp as “pretty laid back,” Cornell reported.
He testified he thought of it as a kind of country retreat for members of the Dar-es-Salaam Mosque in Seattle.
Under cross examination by an attorney for Mustafa, Smith admitted that the two men who had been dispatched from London by the defendant to set up the compound did not try to recruit members of the mosque for jihad training.
“You never saw them shoot anyone,” asked the defense lawyer, “or slit anyone’s throat or put bombs together?”
“No,” said the witness.
“They didn’t ask you to kill anybody or blow up anything, did they?” the defense lawyer asked.
“No, thank God,” said Smith.
The 55-year-old cleric was extradited in 2012 from England, where he turned Finsbury Park Mosque in the 1990s into a training ground for Islamic extremists, attracting men including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid.
Mustafa has one eye and claims to have lost his hands fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
The trial of Mustafa comes a month after a jury in Manhattan convicted Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, bin Laden’s son-in-law and al Qaeda’s spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks, of charges that will likely result in a life sentence.
Mustafa’s trial is expected to last about a month. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
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