Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Kenya 'deports Muslim hate cleric Abdullah al-Faisal'

Abdullah Faisal
Abdullah Faisal was deported four years into a seven-year sentence

Kenyan police say they have deported a Jamaican-born Muslim cleric notorious for preaching racial hatred but have declined to say where he has gone.

Abdullah al-Faisal had been sent to a "friendly neighbouring country" despite trouble finding a country to take him, a police spokesman told the BBC.

But a Muslim group later insisted Faisal was still in Nairobi.

Kenyan officials have said Faisal was being deported because of his "terrorist history".

He has served four years in a UK prison after being convicted of soliciting the murder of Jews and Hindus.

But the authorities have since given mixed signals over Faisal's whereabouts.

Some reports say Kenya has failed to deport him because no other country is willing to have him.

Other reports quote officials as saying he was sent by road to Tanzania on Monday night.

Terrorist 'watch-list'

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe told the BBC there had been difficulties with deporting him because no-one wanted to grant him a visa even for transit.

Mr Kiraithe confirmed only that Faisal had left Kenya and that his final destination was Jamaica.

We are not deporting him because he is a Muslim
Otieno Kajwang
Immigration minister

Shortly afterwards, Al-Amin Kimathi, of the Muslim Human Rights Forum, insisted that the authorities had not managed to expel him.

Faisal was arrested after attending evening prayers at a mosque in Mombasa last Thursday.

Muslim campaigners in Kenya have claimed Muslim clerics were being targeted.

"It is wrong for this government to allow other scholars to come in the country and accept them and deport other scholars without any reason so far," one Muslim protester said.

But Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang said Faisal was on an international watch-list of terrorists.

The minister, quoted in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper, admitted they had no charges against him, but said: "We are not deporting him because he is a Muslim.

"We are deporting him because of his terrorist history and the fact that he is on the international watch-list."

African connection

Faisal was born Trevor William Forrest in St James, Jamaica, and left the island for the UK 26 years ago.

His parents were Salvation Army officers and he was raised as a Christian.

At the age of 16 he went to Saudi Arabia - where he is believed to have spent eight years - and became a Muslim.

He took a degree in Islamic Studies in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, before coming back to the UK.

Faisal spent years travelling the UK preaching racial hatred urging his audience to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners.

A year after being deported from the UK in 2007, he was preaching in South Africa.

Mr Kajwang said that Faisal had recently "arrived in Nigeria, passed through Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland and Malawi," before crossing from Tanzania into Kenya on 24 December.

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Sydney Morning Herald Kenya fails to deport radical cleric - 10 hrs ago Radical Cleric Stuck in Kenya Despite Attempt to Deport Him - 32 hrs ago
New York Times Kenya Seeks to Deport Muslim Cleric to Jamaica - 46 hrs ago
Boston Globe Kenya to deport Muslim cleric - 47 hrs ago
Christian Science Monitor Kenya to deport Jamaican Muslim hate preacher - 52 hrs ago

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