At NY trial, prosecutor vs. combative London imam

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Associated Press

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 11:34 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — An Islamic cleric accused of supporting terrorist operations in Yemen and in the United States became combative when confronted with his past statements by a U.S. prosecutor.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (muh-STAH'-fuh kah-MEHL' muh-STAH'-fuh) was cross examined Tuesday by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cronan in New York.

Repeatedly, Mustafa tried to deflect questions regarding the kidnapping of 16 tourists in Yemen in 1998 and about his love of Osama bin Laden.

Four hostages died. A year later, one ex-hostage interviewed him at his London mosque while writing a book.

Mustafa conceded in court that he told her the attack was "Islamically justified."

Mustafa told the prosecutor to "try to concentrate" and ask one question at a time. The judge told Mustafa to obey the rules and not to make speeches.

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