Jurors hear dramatic hostage tale at U.S. trial of London imam

(Reuters) – As volleys of gunfire rang out across the desert, the kidnapper stared at his captives and said, “It’s goodbye to you all.”

Margaret Thompson, an American tourist held at gunpoint, wasn’t sure what would happen next.

“I hoped it meant they were getting ready to release us,” she testified on Tuesday at the U.S. terror trial of former London cleric Abu Hamza. “But I feared it meant we were all going to die.”

Her harrowing account of the kidnapping by Yemeni militants in 1998 transfixed a federal jury in New York, where Abu Hamza is charged with providing the kidnappers with advice and a satellite phone.