This week, the Egyptian-born Islamist - real name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa - appears to have lost his final battle against extradition from a British jail to the United States where he faces 11 allegations. In December 1998, a group of 16 western tourists, mostly British, was seized at gunpoint on a remote desert road in southern Yemen and taken hostage by fanatical, machine-gun-wielding militants.
The lead kidnapper used his satellite phone to call Abu Hamza in London for advice on how to proceed. Meanwhile, in the Yemeni capital Sana"'a, the British ambassador went in to see the hard-line interior minister to plead for the stand-off to be resolved without shooting. Too late, came the reply, there have already been some casualties. In fact, four of the tourists died in the botched rescue attempt by the Yemeni army - three Britons and one Australian. An American woman was shot but survived.
Abu Hamza had seized control of Finsbury Park mosque in north London, evicting the moderate, mainstream Muslim clergy and using it as a base to propagate his violent messages of hatred around the Middle East. In 2003, in a massive night time operation, the police raided Finsbury Park mosque and found chemical warfare protection suits, pistols, a stun gun, knives and more than 100 forged or stolen passports - all the suspected paraphernalia of jihadi training camps. Abu Hamza al-Masri"'s time there was up and he was evicted from the mosque, to be arrested the following year. So now, eight years on, the US authorities look set to hold him to account for both an alleged terrorist training camp in Oregon and more particularly about his connections to violent extremism in Yemen. His departure from Britain, a country he famously called ""a toilet"", will be welcomed by many.
Source: BBC News UK, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19709034