January 22, 2010

al-Faisal deported from Kenya and sent to Jamaica

CONTROVERSIAL Jamaican-born Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, who was deported from Kenya yesterday, is likely to arrive in Jamaica today. He reportedly left the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, aboard a chartered Gulfstream jet flight ZSJGC312.
It is not clear what route the jet would take, but it was reported in Kenya yesterday that South Africa and Qatar both offered to allow the jet carrying the controversial Muslim to refuel.
Jamaican-born Muslim cleric Abdullah al-Faisal on arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on May 25, 2007. Al-Faisal was deported from the United Kingdom after serving a seven-year prison term for soliciting murder and stirring up racial hatred. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
It was Kenya's second attempt to deport al-Faisal, who had to return to custody in the African country after the failure to secure an intransit visa, as well as refusal of carriers to transport him to Kingston.
Jamaican Government chief spokesman Daryl Vaz, who indicated yesterday that Kingston had been officially informed by Nairobi of al-Faisal's deportation, said the police were prepared for his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport. "He will be taken in for de-briefing when he arrives," Vaz said.
Added Vaz: "There were still some deportation complications to be worked out, but I know the police are aware and are awaiting his arrival."
Vaz, the minister without portfolio with responsibility for information, told the Observer that the police would be meeting with the local Muslim community to discuss the monitoring of al-Faisal when he returns to Jamaica.
The constabulary's head of operations, Acting Deputy Commissioner Glenmore Hinds, has however made it clear that al-Faisal had not broken any laws in Jamaica.
"We are concerned about anyone who incites the murder of anybody but to the best of our knowledge he did not break any of our laws," Hinds told the Observer on Wednesday.
Local Muslim leaders have, in the meantime, distanced themselves from al-Faisal and have banned him from preaching here.
al-Faisal was arrested on New Year's Eve in Mombassa, Kenya as he left a mosque. Kenyan officials said he was not allowed to preach. He had allegedly encouraged Kenyan Muslims to join al-Shabab, an extremist Islamic group linked to al-Qaida which is based in neighbouring Somalia.
The Jamaican-born Muslim was deported from Britain in 2007 after spending four years in jail for hate preaching and immediately placed on an international terrorist watch list.
He has reportedly called for the murder of Americans, Jews and Hindus.

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