Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Faisal deportation 'cost Kenya $500,000'

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

Kenya paid more than $500,000 to deport controversial Jamaican Muslim preacher Abdullah al-Faisal, according to Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang.

He was finally expelled last week on a chartered jet, after Kenya had spent three weeks trying to deport him.

Meanwhile, two immigration officials have been suspended for letting Faisal into the country in the first place.

The cleric spent four years in a UK jail for soliciting the murder of Jews and Hindus.

South African link

Kenya's attempts to deport him were blocked when several countries refused to grant him a transit visa and he was stranded in Nairobi.

He was held in detention while the authorities organised his expulsion - provoking rallies by Muslim groups which ended in clashes with police.

22 January Expelled from Kenya
11 January Nigeria returns him to Kenya
7 January Kenya says he has been sent to The Gambia
5 January Kenya says he has been sent to Tanzania
31 December 2009 Arrested
24 December Enters Kenya
2007 Deported from UK
2003 Jailed in UK for preaching racial hatred

"It is the responsibility of the state to ship back the likes of al-Faisal and this was necessitated by the fact that some deportees turn violent," the Daily Nation quoted Mr Kajwang as saying.

"This makes commercial airlines uncomfortable with such travellers."

He said the cost of the deportation was "in excess of 40 million shillings ($523,000; £322,000)".

Earlier reports claimed a South African security firm had been drafted in to arrange the deportation.

Mr Kajwang also confirmed that two officials who had allowed Faisal into the country - reportedly via a land border with Tanzania - had been suspended pending an investigation.

"Common sense could have led them to ask why a Jamaican was entering Kenya by road, not sea or air," he said.

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.

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