Jamaican-born Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, who has been linked to the July 7, 2005 bombings of the London transportation system, is slated to be
deported to the island within weeks, Britain's Observer newspaper reported yesterday.
Sheikh el-Faisal is believed to have influenced at least one of the July 7 bombers in London. His videos may have been seen by several of the terror suspects arrested earlier this month, according to the newspaper report.
El-Faisal, the newspaper argued, encouraged Muslims to attend training camps so they could wage jihad on the West.
Jailed in february 2003
He was jailed in February 2003 for nine years, reduced to seven on appeal, after being convicted of soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.
Hundreds of Muslims attended his lectures in mosques across Britain, including Birmingham, London and Dewsbury in West Yorkshire.
The Home Office confirmed he had been served with a notice of deportation to Jamaica, signalling that he will be released in weeks - barring a successful appeal against the decision, the Observer reported.
Led london bombings
According to the newspaper, in the government's official account of the events that led to the London bombings in July 2005, el-Faisal is credited with having had a 'strong' influence on Jamaican-born Jermaine Lindsay who blew up a Tube train.
James Ujaama, a U.S. citizen jailed for conspiring to help the Taliban in Afghanistan, was recorded asking questions at el-Faisal's lectures.
Richard Reid, who tried to detonate a bomb in his shoe on a transatlantic plane, and Zacarias Moussaoui, who was jailed for life over his involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks, are also believed to have attended the lectures. El-Faisal's influence extended to the U.S., where followers set up groups marketing tapes and endorsing jihad.
The United Press International (UPI) reported yesterday that the prospect of the release and deportation of Sheikh el-Faisal has alarmed some British legislators. The news service reported Andrew Dismore, a Labour Member of Parliament , as saying "Once he's deported to Jamaica, what restrictions will there be to prevent him spreading his message of hate over the Internet?"
Faisal, the UPI reported, was formerly known as Trevor William Forest. He was born into a family who were members of the Salvation Army. He converted to Islam at 16.
Contacted yesterday, Senator Delano Franklyn, State Minster in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said he was unaware that El-Faisal was to be deported to Jamaica.
However, he noted that persons who are deported for criminal activities usually generate a special interest from the security forces.
"This person falls in that category and therefore the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Ministry of National Security will be required to address the situation," said Senator Franklyn.
Asked if there would be any special measures put in place, since Mr. El-Faisal influenced terrorism, Senator Franklyn said the security forces will determine how he will be treated.