Abu Hamza and the Islamic Army

The Abyan kidnap trial: evidence 

February 6, 1999

The three accused who appeared at the first hearing on January 13 were joined by two more, Abdullah Muhsin Salih al-Junaidi ("Abu Hadhifa") and Hussein Muhammad Salih ("Abu Huraira"), a Tunisian.

Judge Najib al-Qadiri warned the defendant Abu al-Hassan more than once about speaking without permission of the court, and threatened to have him removed.

Abdullah Muhsin Salih al-Junaidi ("Abu Hadhifa")

Junaidi admitted kidnapping the foreigners tourists but denied killing them, saying that he was not carrying a weapon, and if he had been, if would have been to fight the security forces.

He told the court: "I took part in the kidnapping when Abu al-Hassan came to me and asked me to participate. We held up the hostages in the area (Lahmar) the we took them and handed them over to the commander, Abu al-Hassan, who had the right of disposal."

He could not say precisely when he joined the Islamic Army; when he met one of the commanders of Jihad [indicating Abu al-Hassan] he could not refuse.

Hussein Muhammad Salih ("Abu Huraira")

Abu Huraira told the court: "I was not a participant in the kidnapping, either in thought or deed."

His role was as a translator. He had not known about the plan until the morning of the kidnapping. He had not carried any weapons.

More details available shortly. A full report of the day's hearing was published in Arabic in al-Ayyam newspaper, issue 538, 8 February, 1999 (page 5).