Saturday, January 9, 1999 Published at 23:51 GMT
World: Middle East
Cult members deported from Israel
A member of Concerned Christians is led to a hearing in Israel
Israel has deported 14 members of an American Christian doomsday cult, who were accused of plotting attacks on sacred sites in Jerusalem.
The group - including six children - has now arrived back in Denver, Colorado.
Police said the Concerned Christians were suspected of planning unspecified "extreme acts of violence" in an attempt to hasten the second coming of Jesus, which they believe will take place at the end of the millennium.
A lawyer who represented three of the group said they were were law-abiding religious pilgrims.
"They did not deny the fact that they are waiting here in Israel to wait for the return of Jesus, but they say they will not be involved in any illegal activity," said lawyer Eran Avital.
A police spokesman said three Israeli policemen were escorting them back to the United States.
"Operation Walk on Water"
Codenamed "Operation Walk on Water", the investigation has the help of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Some fundamentalist Christians believe one of Islam's holiest shrines in Jerusalem - Al-Aqsa mosque - must first be destroyed and an ancient Jewish temple restored in its place if Jesus is to return to Earth.
The 14 cultists were among 60 members of the Concerned Christians group who abandoned their jobs and homes in Colorado several months ago and went missing.