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Jury told not to be fooled by Hamza's testimony

Muslim cleric Abu Hamza engineered an international campaign to commit violent jihad despite claiming that he never conspired to harm anyone, his terrorism trial has heard.

In closing speeches in New York, assistant US attorney Ian McGinley, prosecuting, told jurors: "Don't be fooled by his testimony."

He said the former London-based radical preacher who was extradited to the US after serving a prison sentence for inciting terrorism in the UK was "trying to sell a version of himself... that contradicts anything else we've seen during this trial".

Mr McGinley said Hamza was not on trial for his words, but his statements were important, adding: "The language that we use, it shows what we're thinking."

He said: "Can someone who has ranted and raved for years about anti-American statements get a fair trial in front of a New York jury in the shadows of the World Trade Centre?"

Abu Hamza's defence attorney said the case against him came down to incendiary statements that gained the preacher a reputation among radical Muslims, rather than anything he actually did.

"A lot, if not the majority, of their evidence was his words, not his deeds," said Jeremy Schneider, who expressed fears the prosecution was appealing to the emotions of jurors.

Hamza is charged with providing advice and a satellite phone to Yemeni militants who kidnapped Western tourists in an incident that left four dead.

He is also charged with sending two men to the US for a jihadist training camp and with dispatching an associate to Afghanistan to aid al Qaeda and the Taliban. Mr Schneider ridiculed that claim, suggesting the alleged jihadists were only involved in target practice.

The trial continues.

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