Extradition Ordered for Jamaican Muslim Cleric Accused in US of Recruiting for ISIS

Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal has 15 days to challenge the extradition order.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday May 2, 2018
– A judge has signed an extradition warrant, ordering radical Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal be handed over to authorities in the United States to face terrorism-related charges.

But el-Faisal has 15 days to challenge the extradition order made by Parish Court Judge Broderick Smith.

US prosecutors have accused the 53-year-old Muslim cleric, who was christened Trevor William Forrest, of seeking to recruit people to join Islamic State (ISIS), which is designated by American authorities as a terrorist organization.

He was arrested last August on an extradition warrant from the US on charges of conspiracy as a crime of terrorism, two counts of soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism, and two counts of attempted soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism.

The Muslim cleric was taken into custody after a month-long operation carried out by an undercover New York Police Department (NYPD) officer who communicated with him by e-mail, text and video chat.

Prosecutors said that beginning in December 2016, el-Faisal began urging the officer to view ISIS propaganda materials online, and offering to help him travel to the Middle East to fight for the organization. NYPD members ultimately did travel to the Middle East, and once they arrived, el-Faisal put them in touch with a contact in Raqqa, Syria, according to prosecutors.

El-Faisal was convicted in the United Kingdom in 2003 of soliciting the murder of Jews, Americans, Hindus, and Christians. He was deported to Jamaica in 2007 after serving four years of a nine-year prison term.

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