January 12, 2010

No Place to Settle

Published on: 1/12/2010 in the Barbados nation newspaper

NAIROBI - The radical Jamaican cleric who was deported to Gambia last week has been returned to Kenya, Kenyan news media reported late on Sunday.

It was the second time Kenya had tried unsuccessfully to deport the cleric, Abdullah el-Faisal, who was arrested a week ago in Mombasa.

The Kenyan authorities said Faisal's history of radical statements and connections with convicted terrorists made him a threat to Kenya's security.

Kenya had flown him to Lagos, Nigeria, on Thursday, according to news reports. From there, he was scheduled to fly to Gambia and then to Jamaica. But airlines in Nigeria refused to fly him to Gambia, news media reported.

Kenya's efforts have been hampered by the refusal of several countries to allow Faisal to pass through their borders or travel on their airlines.

Last Tuesday, the Kenyan authorities reportedly drove him to the border of Tanzania because he had entered Kenya from there, but Tanzania refused him entry.

Last Thursday, Gambia offered to help get him to Jamaica, but now it is unclear how he can travel to Gambia.

Muslim leaders and human rights activists said on Sunday that they had spotted Faisal at a Nairobi prison.

"He is being held at the Industrial Area Prison and we don't understand why he is there because he has never been charged in court," local news outlets quoted a Muslim human rights official as saying.

Faisal was convicted in Britain in 2003 of inciting racial hatred for urging his followers to kill Hindus, Christians, Jews and Americans, and he was accused of influencing one of the bombers who struck the London transit system in July 2005.

Britain deported him to Jamaica in 2007, but it is n

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