Accused terrorist Abu Hamza al-Masri gloated over the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and the bombing of a U.S. Navy ship in a TV interview, a court in the Manhattan heard.
In a videotaped interview, screened at his trial at Manhattan Federal Court, the jury heard Hamza say: “Everybody was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center.”
When the TV reporter asked if he approved of the 2000 suicide attack on the U.S.S. Cole, the hook-handed Muslim cleric responded: “Of course. I agree with it.”
When the reporter quizzed Hamza over his calls to use aircraft as weapons – prior to the 9/11 atrocities – he replied: “You are using god’s gift for flying to oppress nations to kill them and maim them.
“I wanted to use any means necessary to stop the West aggressions.”
Abu Hamza, 56, is charged with supporting Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He is alleged to have aided the kidnapping of tourists in Yemen in 1998 and plotted to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999.
Hamza’s defense lawyers attempted to block the video arguing that the statements are not relevant to his alleged crimes.
But Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Forrest ruled Abu Hamza’s taped statements could be admitted at trial because they show his beliefs.
Jurors saw Islamist videos, bomb and poison-making manuals and guns seized from Abu Hamza’s London mosque and an associate‘s home in Sweden.
Abu Hamza, who lost his hands in Afghanistan, was extradited to the U.S. from Britain in 2012.