Abu Hamza, also known as Mustafa Kemal Mustafa, at an earlier US court hearing
Abu Hamza also known as Mustafa Kemal Mustafa, at an earlier US court hearingReuters

Hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza has finally faced terrorism charges in America after a lengthy 8-year extradition battle from the UK in 2012.

The radical Islamic cleric was in court to hear prosecutors set out 11 terrorism charges against him. Hamza, 56, has indicated he intends to testify in his defence and talk about the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaida on New York's Twin Towers, against the advice of his lawyers.

Prosecutors seeking to convict the preacher who used to pack out Finsbury Park Mosque with firebrand sermons, intend to present evidence of recordings where Hamza hails terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden and condemns homosexuals and other religions.

Hamza is accused of being part of a conspiracy to kidnap tourists in Yemen which led to the deaths of three UK citizens and one Australian during a bungled rescue misson. He also allegedly helped in plans to build a terror training camp in Oregon in 1999.

Assistant US attorney Ian Patrick McGinley has spoken of a wealth of evidence, much of it drawing on Hamza's own words. "We culled it down from thousands of hours to less than an hour's worth of recordings that we intend to play," he told the court.

Hamza – real name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, denies all charges. At a pre-trial hearing, he said: "I think I am innocent. I need to go through it, have a chance to defend it."

Hamza was jailed in Britain in 2004 for inciting racial hatred and encouraging Muslims to murder non-Muslims.