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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Elizabeth Williams. Abu Hamza Trial, Manhattan Federal Court, May 7, 2014. Watercolor, pastel, and porous point pen on tan paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (053.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51117 © Elizabeth Williams
Gift of Tom Girardi

Humanizing the Demonized

After his extradition from England, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, faced trial for multiple counts of terrorism, including the taking of hostages and providing material support and resources to terrorists: motion to dismiss charges denied, U.S. v. Mostafa, 965 F.Supp. 2d 451 (2013). The charges included an episode that led to the deaths of two Americans in Yemen, as well as the use of his role as imam at the Finsbury Park Mosque in London to incite acts of terrorism and racial hatred. Elizabeth Williams, while deftly capturing the Egyptian-born leader's mannerisms, prosthetic arms, and stiff relationship with Mayerlin Ulerio, a paralegal on his defense team, portrays a human face on a demonized figure. Mustafa is now serving a life sentence at the federal prison in Florence, Colorado.