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One-Eyed, No-Handed Terror Suspect Had Hook Removed for Arraignment

Imam Abu Hamza al-Masri arrives at Finsbury Park mosque in central London 11 September 2002 to address a controversial day-long rally. The leading British radical Muslim told a local daily that the September 11 attacks were an FBI conspiracy that triggered a global war between Islam and Christianity and will end with Muslim hegemony.

Radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is due to appear in Manhattan court today to face eleven counts of terrorism, but he'll do so without his trademark hook, which he often wears in place of a hand. Al-Masri, who says he lost an eye and both hands while fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, reportedly had his pointed prosthetic removed when he was extradited to New York from London on charges of conspiracy. But the New York Post, panicky and righteous as ever, is certain that al-Masri's pesky civil rights mean taxpayers will be on the, uh, hook for more blunt replacements:

“The rule is you give the guy what they had before. Not anything better.” […]

“Passive,” non-electronic prosthetics retail for between $5,000 and $8,000 each, while higher-tech models that feature electronics and sensors can cost up to $50,000 each, depending on how many fingers are functional.

But the federal Bureau of Prisons’ official policy states that while inmates “deserve medically necessary health care,” all of their services “will be obtained at the lowest possible cost.”

The swap seems worth it, though, for the protection of those surrounding al-Masri, who has called Osama bin Laden "a hero." And it's bound to save money on incidental expenses in the future:

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Photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI/Getty Images