Hamza tells about his injuries
...He said that during testing, one explosives expert “who was not very good in health and safety,” left behind a container with explosive chemicals. He said the “expert” believed the device wouldn’t ignite unless the fuse was lit but failed to factor in that a strip of “foil on the detonator” could trigger a chemical reaction.
He said the container got “hot” and he knew he had to act fast – but ran out of options.
After previously being told “if anything goes wrong to throw” explosives “in the bathroom,” al-Masri said he couldn’t because “someone was washing their hands.” So he held onto it.
“I felt the explosive,” he said. “I did not go out immediately until I was filled with blood. Then I went into a coma.”...
...He also exchanged chuckles with Judge Katherine Forrest while
testifying how simple it was to change his name on his British passport
in order to travel to Bosnia in the mid-1990s to provide cars and cash
to Muslim fighters.
“It’s simple,” he said. “Pay 25 pounds ($42 in today’s money) and say I want to be John Travolta.”
“Did you go with John Travolta?” the judge asked.
“No ma’am,” said al-Masri, causing chuckles from people throughout the packed courtroom...
from the BBC website
...He is also self-deprecating. He says people have exaggerated the part he played with the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
"Unfortunately the reputation is much bigger than the reality," he says.
He had only a bit part, he says: "Just a couple of bullets
towards the communist regime". His past has been embellished in other
"All sorts of stories," he says. "Some people say I went to
Saudi Arabia and stole money, and they cut off my hands. The gossip
...As several thousand Muslim men and boys lay in mass graves in Srebrenica, Bosnia, a young boy -- maybe 12 -- wearing camouflage and clutching a Kalashnikov received a hug from a grieving mother.
"I wish I trained my son," the woman said.
Abu Hamza al-Masri broke down in the tears on the stand Thursday as he recounted the moment, which was pivotal for the radical cleric. He left Bosnia with the belief that training in physical jihad, even for children, is crucial to the defense of Muslims when governments and outside forces fail to keep them safe...
...Al-Masri, who may be the only defense witness, testified he came to London as a young man because loved the Western lifestyle, wanted to make money and have fun. "American style," he smiled.
He worked as a bouncer and strip-club manager before bits of Islamic teachings from friends began to penetrate his mind, he testified. The hypocrisy of his lifestyle hit him like a slap in the face.
Al-Masri would go on to become the high-profile imam of a London mosque and allegedly inspired several notorious terrorists with his sermons, including failed shoe bomber Richard Reid and 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta.
He denied on the stand that he ever provided support to al Qaeda or the Taliban government.
He noted that he hasn't spoken before a crowd since his 2004 arrest and that a decade in solitary confinement has eroded his memory and grasp of language. The trial has been reinvigorating, said al-Masri, and the preacher drew laughter from in the courtroom Wednesday afternoon as he used examples of marital spats to illustrate the practical application of Islamic truth...
A more comprehensive account on Arab News
And Sky news again
...The tearful cleric portrays himself as a voice of moderation, even as he speaks of his "love" for Osama Bin Laden, in his trial...
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