Nation

Islamic preacher’s trial set to begin

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa faces charges in New York.

AP/file 2003

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa faces charges in New York.

NEW YORK — Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of a disabled Egyptian Islamic preacher extradited from Great Britain on charges he conspired to support Al Qaeda, in part by trying to create a training camp in Oregon 15 years ago.

The trial of Mustafa Kamel Mustafa occurs a month after a Manhattan jury convicted Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and Al Qaeda’s spokesman after the 2001 attacks, of charges that will probably result in a life sentence.

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The 55-year-old Mustafa has alerted his lawyers and US District Judge Katherine Forrest that he will testify on his own behalf. At a pretrial hearing last week, he told the judge: ‘‘I think I am innocent. I need to go through it — have a chance to defend myself.’’

Prosecutors say he conspired to support Al Qaeda by trying in 1999 to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., by arranging for others to attend an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, and by ensuring there was satellite phone service for hostage takers in Yemen in 1998 who abducted two American tourists and 14 others.

Associated Press

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