Tuesday 22 September, 2020

Al-Faisal extradited to face terror-related charges in US

Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal

Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal

Jamaican Muslim cleric, Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal has been extradited to the United States to face terrorism-related charges.

The controversial cleric, now 56 years old, was flown out of the country hours ago, senior police sources have confirmed.

The St James native was previously deported to Jamaica from the United Kingdom in 2007 after serving four years in prison on charges of spreading racial hatred by reportedly urging his followers to kill Christians, Jews, Hindus and Americans. He was permanently banned from that country.

Also, the cleric was deported to Jamaica from Kenya in 2010 after again being accused of spreading racial hatred. He was arrested on New Year's Day in the East African country for preaching at a mosque in Nairobi, breaching stipulations of his work permit.

In 2017, al-Faisal was arrested on an extradition warrant from the United States in relation to charges of conspiracy as a crime of terrorism, two counts of soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism, and two counts of attempted soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism.

He was taken into custody after a month-long operation carried out by an undercover New York Police Department officer, who allegedly communicated with him via e-mail, text and video chat.

He stands accused of having an established online presence which he supposedly used to broker marriages for females who wanted to migrate and marry Islamic State (IS) members, and also had connections with people interested in joining the terrorist network.

According to the prosecutor, based on the allegations, al-Faisal had multiple conversations with an overseas undercover female officer on different social media platforms, to whom he allegedly provided names and contacts to help her join the IS network after she told him she had medical skills.

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