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July 7 preacher Abdullah El-Faisal deported


By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 12:32am BST 27/05/2007

An Islamic cleric believed to have influenced one of the July 7 bombers was deported to his native Jamaica today after serving four years in jail for inciting racial hatred.

 
Abdullah el Faisal
On his way home: Abdullah El-Faisal

Abdullah El-Faisal was convicted in 2003 of soliciting murder and causing racial hatred.

Police at the time did not know how many young, impressionable Muslim men he might have turned towards terrorism.

But the Government's official account of the July 7 suicide bombs identified El-Faisal as a mentor of Jermaine Lindsay, who detonated a bomb on a Tube train near King's Cross, killing 25 passengers.

Lindsay, also from Jamaica and also a convert to Islam, attended at least one lecture by El-Faisal and listened to tapes of his sermons. During the preacher's trial, he was heard telling audiences to kill Hindus, Jews and other non-Muslims like "cockroaches".

John Reid, the Home Secretary, said: "We are committed to protecting the public and have made it clear that foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality and break our laws can expect to be deported after they have served a prison sentence.

"We will not tolerate those who seek to spread hate and fear in our communities."

El-Faisal, 43, was sentenced to seven years after becoming the first person for a century to be prosecuted under the 1860 Public Order Act.

He was released just beyond the half-way point of his sentence with the agreement of the Parole Board.

El-Faisal arrived in the UK in 1992 and married a British biology graduate, establishing himself as a lay preacher at Brixton Mosque, often preaching to crowds of up to 500 people.

His preaching came to the attentions of police when tapes of his sermons were found in the car of a suspected rapist in Dorset in late 2001.

During subsequent searches of specialist Islamic bookshops and El-Faisal's rented house in Stratford, East London, police found other recordings in which he exhorted young Muslims to accept the deaths of women and children as "collateral damage" and to "learn to fly planes, drive tanks... load your guns and to use missiles".

He told young British Muslims it was their duty to kill non-believers, Jews, Hindus and Westerners, urging them to adopt a "jihad mentality".

He also promised schoolboys that they would be rewarded with "72 virgins in paradise" if they died in a holy war.

The jury watched a video of El-Faisal after the Sept 11 attacks telling up to 150 young Muslims that the Koran justified attacking "kaffirs", or unbelievers. ends

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