Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Kenya 'expels Jamaican hate-cleric Faisal again'

Abdullah Faisal
Kenyan authorities said Faisal was on an international terrorist watch-list

Kenya has attempted to deport controversial Jamaican Muslim preacher Abdullah al-Faisal for a second time in two weeks, a court has been told.

The government was ordered to produce Faisal, but state counsel Edwin Okello said: "The subject is no longer within the court's jurisdiction."

Mr Okello said the cleric, convicted in the UK for soliciting murder of Jews and Hindus, was heading for Jamaica.

However, a minister later reportedly said Faisal remained in Kenya.

Several countries have refused him a transit visa, leaving him stranded.

The government says Faisal is being deported because of his "terrorist history".


Several hours after Thursday's court hearing, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang told local radio stations that Faisal was still in the country.

"The position, as I came in here, was that we were still negotiating with the airlines and the countries that would give us transit."

And Al-Amin Kimathi, leader of the Kenya Muslim Rights Forum, told the BBC the preacher was still at Nairobi airport.

Later, sources at the airport confirmed the plane had left but not until several hours after he had been due in court.

There is a heavy security presence in the coastal city of Mombasa on Friday, ahead of planned demonstrations against the government's treatment of Faisal by Muslim groups.

Similar protests in Nairobi last week turned violent, leaving at least one person dead.

Bomber connection

Faisal was deported from the UK in 2007 after spending four years in jail.

The British government said one of the 7 July London suicide bombers, Germaine Lindsay, was heavily influenced by the cleric.

Shoe-bomber Richard Reid is said to have visited mosques where he preached in the UK.

Faisal has been in custody in Nairobi since his return from Nigeria.

Muslim groups launched a protest against his detention last Friday, which turned violent.

Hundreds of people were arrested and seven people have been charged over the riots - including Mr Kimathi.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says religious tension is rare in Kenya.

But he says the controversy surrounding Faisal has caused some apprehension and with Muslims promising more demonstrations, it is not clear if this is a storm that has yet blown over.

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