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British Court Convicts Prominent Muslim Cleric

A court in London finds prominent British Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri guilty of 11 counts, including inciting murder. He is sentenced to seven years in jail. Al-Masri, who maintained his innocence, is still wanted by the United States on terrorism charges.

The Egyptian-born cleric was the leader of a mosque where men such as convicted "shoebomber" Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, who has admitted complicity in the attacks of Sept. 11, worshipped.

His conviction comes amid controversy in Britain over the behavior of some Muslim demonstrators in London. The police are investigating whether behavior, slogans and banners at a protest over cartoons of Muhammad amounted to incitement to racial hatred or incitement to murder.

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Rob Gifford
Rob Gifford is the NPR foreign correspondent based in Shanghai.
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