Kenya deports controversial cleric

Jamaican Muslim religious leader transferred to Gambia due to "security threats".



    Kenyan authorities have deported a controversial Jamaican Muslim religious leader to Gambia because he posed a serious threat to Kenya's security, officials said.

    Abdullah El-Faisal had not committed crimes in Kenya nor was he wanted in other countries, Otieno Kajwang, Kenya's immigration minister, said.

    But the former leader of a British mosque attended by convicted terrorists had a  history of radicalism and "links with terrorism", Kajwang said.

    "What we have is his history, you can call it rumours ... but these are serious threats to our security," he said.

    "It is in the public's interest not to have him here."

    Al-Amin Kimathi, of the Muslim Human Rights Forum, told Al Jazeera that his government was "just facilitating either an enforced disappearance or rendition".

    Kimathi said that El-Faisal had come into the country on the invitation of the Muslim youths who wanted him to give lectures.

    Visa problems

    El-Faisal's deportation to the West African nation of Gambia had been delayed because several countries, including the United States, had denied him a transit visa.

    South Africa had declined to grant him transit visas after his deportation orders were made on Saturday, the official said. Tanzania also declined to grant him a visa - although he had entered Kenya from Tanzania.

    Britain has said that El-Faisal's teachings heavily influenced one of the bombers who carried out the 2005 transport network bombings in London that killed 52 people.

    El-Faisal preached at London's Brixton mosque in the 1990s before being ejected by mosque authorities because of his support for "violent jihad".

    The mosque was attended at different times by Richard Reid, who is serving a life sentence in a US prison after a failed 2001 attempt to blow up an airplane, and convicted September 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui.

    The British government has said that El-Faisal also was a key influence on July 7, 2005, bomber Jermaine Lindsay.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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