FLORENCE, Colo. — Last month, an Egyptian Islamic cleric convicted of eleven terrorism charges filed a 97-page motion for a temporary restraining order to British authorities seeking a return to the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abu Hamza al-Masri, 62, is serving life without parole at USP Florence ADMAX, better known as ADX Florence, a maximum security federal penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. The facility holds inmates such as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Theodore Kaczynski, and Harold Nicholson. He was convicted in 2006 of 11 terrorism-related charges including the use of “abusive or insulting words or behavior with intent to stir up racial hatred,” and currently spends 23 hours locked down in his cell.
Hamza has authored various written works including Be Aware Of Takfir, and Allah’s Governance On Earth.
Hamza told officials he was refused a COVID-19 test and has developed “untreated vision decay,” as a result of the viral infection. He seeks to be extradited back to the UK due to his concerns over the pandemic. If put at risk for COVID, he says, there’s a chance he could lose more limbs, as well as suffer from brain damage and organ failure.
“This new development makes it impossible to communicate, interact, or compile any legal work.” a complaint made on his behalf read.
Hamza also says he suffers from headache and fatigue, among other symptoms. The complaints were included as part of a lawsuit he filed against former Attorney General William Barr alleging “inhumane and degrading” conditions at ADX Florence. He claims corrections officials subjected him to solitary confinement, removed his prosthetic hooks despite his missing forearms, and subjected him to “religious stress” by eating kosher food.
Hamza’s attempt to be extradited to the UK is opposed by U.S. Prosecutors. Sir Ivor Roberts, the former head of Counter-Terrorism at the UK’s Foreign Office, has been a vocal opponent to his efforts.
“Were [Hamza] to return here the simple truth is that even with our talented security services and counter-terrorism police monitoring him, we are not as safe as if he were behind bars.” he said.
“Abu Hamza made his bed, and now he must be made to lie in it. 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.”