Nation digest: Muslim cleric al-Masri convicted

May 19
NATIONAL SECURITY
Muslim cleric guilty on terrorism charges

An Egyptian Muslim preacher whose fiery sermons before and after 9/11 attracted extremists to his London mosque was convicted Monday in a trial that a prosecutor said should provide justice for the victims of a kidnapping in Yemen more than a decade ago.

Abu Hamza al-Masri, 56, was found guilty in federal court in Manhattan just weeks after the spokesman for al-Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was convicted.

Masri, whose birth name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, was accused of providing material support to terrorist organizations by enabling hostage takers in the Yemen kidnapping to speak on a satellite phone, by sending men to establish an al-Qaeda training camp in Oregon and by sending at least one man to training camps in Afghanistan.

He was extradited in 2012 from England, where he led London’s Finsbury Park Mosque in the 1990s, reportedly attended by both 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid. Mustafa denied that he ever met them.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 8. Masri faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

— Associated Press

THE ENVIRONMENT
EPA moves to protect fish from power plants

The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring power plants and factories to reduce the billions of fish, crabs and shrimp killed by cooling-water systems each year.

New standards issued Monday will force more than 1,000 power plants and factories that withdraw at least 2 million gallons of water a day from adjacent waterways to take steps to minimize the number of fish sucked into their facilities. Marine animals, many juvenile, die by either being pinned or by being exposed to heat, chemicals and other stress once they are trapped inside.

The rule is among a series issued by the Obama administration targeting various forms of air and water pollution from the nation’s aging coal-fired power plants. New units will be required to recycle their cooling water.

— Associated Press

College dropout accused of graduation bomb threat: A woman trying to keep her family from learning she had dropped out of college called in bomb threats to a commencement ceremony at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, police said Monday. Danielle Shea of Quincy, Mass., was wearing a cap and gown when she was arrested Sunday.

— Associated Press

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