Denver Man Has Ties To Terror Trial Of Muslim Cleric

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DENVER (CBS4)- Opening statements have begun in the terrorism trial of a Muslim cleric who had close ties to a man arrested in Denver.

The trial of the Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza Al-Mazri, began Thursday. The man arrested in Denver who was associated with Al-Mazri, James Ujaama, was arrested in 2002.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (sketch: Jane Rosenberg)

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (sketch: Jane Rosenberg)

Ujaama pleaded guilty to terror-related charges and agreed to testify against Al-Mazri.

Al-Mazri is an Egyptian and is on trial under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa. He is accused of arranging a plot to set up a terror training camp in the U.S.

Federal prosecutors claim that camp was to be set up in Bly, Oregon.

James Ujaama (credit: CBS)

James Ujaama (credit: CBS)

Ujaama, who had previously converted to Islam, was originally charged with assisting that plan but he later pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to aid the Taliban in Afghanistan with computers and cash.

Ujaama received a sentence of just two years in prison for his assistance with the Mustafa case.

“The cooperation of Mr. Ujaama is very important. We think it gives him the opportunity to help provide for the safety of this nation and others as we fight the war on terror,” said U.S. Attorney John McKay in April 2002.

Ujaama had been an activist for the disadvantaged in Seattle prior to his arrest. The city even named a day for him.

He was arrested at his family home in Denver in connection with the terror investigation. At the time his brother insisted the accusations were not true.

“My brother was a target of the federal government in this investigation of so-called terrorism,” said Ujaama’s brother.

The terror trial in New York is just getting underway. Prosecutors will not say whether Ujaama will be called to the witness stand.

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