Son of Egyptian cleric sentenced in London drug case
The 31-year-old son of an Islamic preacher currently held at a federal supermax prison on terrorism charges was sentenced to a 4-year prison term following his admission of guilt in a Park Royal drug case last month, The Telegraph reported.
The man’s father, Abu Hamza, was the Islamist imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London, England. Some of the views Hamza preached, prosecutors say, were violent and hateful, leading to his eventual extradition to the US after federal investigators compiled a vast case against him. The 63-year-old was convicted by a Manhattan jury on 11 terrorism charges in relation to the taking of sixteen hostages in Yemen in 1998, allegedly providing aid to al-Qaida, and advocating Jihad in Afghanistan in 2001.
Hamza headed up a group called the Supporters of Sharia, who believed in a strict version of Islamic Law. He previously published a newspaper article expressing support of the 1999 Russian apartment bombings and publicly supported al-Qaida’s 1st General Emir Osama bin Laden.
Hamza’s son, Yasser Kamel, who is one of 8 children, was allegedly busted with a stash of MDMA, cocaine, and ketamine with a street value of over $40,000 after authorities raided his home in the Park Royal business park in London.
Kamel pleaded guilty on two counts of possession with intent to sell class A drugs, and one count of possession with intent to sell class B drugs. An attorney for Kamel had argued in the Southwark Crown Court that Kamel turned to a life of crime due to trauma from his father’s terroristic background.
“He feels he has suffered significantly as a result of what his father committed when he was only a child,” Kamel’s attorney, William Evans, told the court. “It’s no coincidence that his offending started in 2008, when he was 18, and finished prior to this in 2012 when he was 22 and things concluded with his father’s extradition.” Evans added that Kamel was repeatedly targeted in school and was unable to find employment due to his notoriety.
Kamel’s credit card was previously withdrawn by Capital One and he was unable to open a bank account.
“He has struggled for any kind of normality, that has culminated in 2019 to changing his name from Yasser Kamal, he now calls himself Jamal Luciano to distance himself from that,” Evans said.
Despite the argument from Kamel’s attorney, Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced him to a 4-year prison stint.
“There is evidence you were dealing to individuals, the drugs were high purity, and the circumstances of the drugs show you have close links to the original source and the expectation of substantial financial gain,” the judge said.
In 1999, another one of Hamza’s sons, Mohammed Kamel Mostafa, was imprisoned for allegedly plotting to bomb British tourists in Yemen at the age of 17.
Hamza previously sued former US Attorney General William Barr, alleging “inhumane and degrading” conditions at ADX Florence, the federal supermax prison he’s held in. Hamza claimed corrections officials confiscated his prosthetic hooks, which allegedly caused his teeth to rot from opening food packages with his teeth. Hamza also claimed officials subjected him to “religious stress” by forcing him to eat Kosher food.
Sir Ivor Roberts, the head of the Counter-Terrorism Unit of the UK’s Foreign Office, is one of the most vocal opponents to Hamza’s legal efforts.
“Abu Hamza made his bed, and now he must be made to lie in it,” Roberts said. “Unfortunately for him, at ADX Florence supermax that bed — just like the desk and stool that also furnish his tiny cell — is made from cold, unforgiving concrete.”
Kamel will return to the Southwark Crown Court in August to face financial confiscation proceedings.