Profile: Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal

Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal
Al-Faisal lost his appeal against deportation from the UK

Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, who has been deported from the UK to Jamaica, was jailed in 2003 for soliciting the murder of Jews and Hindus.

Al-Faisal spent years travelling the UK preaching racial hatred urging his audience to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners.

The imam called on impressionable teenage boys to learn how to use rifles, fly planes and use missiles to kill "all unbelievers".

In return for becoming martyrs, he promised them the reward of a place in paradise.

One of the 7 July London suicide bombers, Germaine Lindsay, was heavily influenced by him, according to the Home Secretary John Reid.

Shoe bomber Richard Reid, who like al-Faisal is of Jamaica descent, is said to have visited mosques where he preached.

Raised Christian

Al-Faisal, 43, left the UK from Gatwick at midday on 25 May 2007, accompanied by two police escorts and an immigration officer, having lost his appeal against deportation.

The home secretary said he was pleased Al-Faisal been removed and excluded from the UK.

Al-Faisal, who is from St James in Jamaica, left the island for the UK 26 years ago.

Born Trevor William Forrest, he earned the nicknamed "Dictionary" because of his vocabulary.

His parents were Salvation Army officers and he was raised as a Christian, but when he was aged 16 he went to Saudi Arabia - where he is believed to have spent eight years - and became a Muslim.

He took a degree in Islamic Studies in the Saudi capital of Riyadh before coming to the UK.

Islamic tapes

The full extent of his preaching of racial hatred emerged during his four-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Germaine Lindsay
Suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay was influenced by al-Faisal

Taped recordings of his lectures were sold at specialist Islamic bookshops.

And it was these tapes that formed the basis of the prosecution's case against al-Faisal, who lived in Stratford, east London.

Al-Faisal was found guilty of three charges of soliciting the murder of Jews, Americans and Hindus.

And he was found guilty by a jury of six men and six women of two charges of using threatening words to stir up racial hatred.

'Might is right'

In his tape Jihad, the father-of-four told Muslim women to raise their children "with the jihad mentality" by giving them toy guns.

In the tape recorded after 11 September, he said: "The way forward is the bullet. Our motto is 'might is right'".

In another tape - Rules of Jihad - thought to have been recorded before 11 September, he said Jihad had been declared against India.

"You are only allowed to use nuclear weapons in that country which is 100% unbelievers," he said.

But throughout the trial he denied he had intended to incite people to violence.

Instead he argued his talks came from the Koran and if he was on trial so was the holy text.

Impeccably dressed

Al-Faisal told the court he had held Osama Bin Laden in "great respect" but that he had "lost the path" since 11 September.

Richard Reid
Shoe bomber Richard Reid attended the same mosque as al-Faisal

Each day he attended court dressed impeccably in flowing robes and carried the Koran.

He was accompanied by a religious advisor and given special dispensation to pray regularly.

And he listened attentively to the case brought against him.

Al-Faisal told the jury of his one conviction for carrying a knife in 1997.

He said he was not against Americans and had a "wonderful relationship" with British people, with a British wife and children.

Appeal lost

In the UK he attended Brixton mosque in south London - the same mosque where Reid is thought to have met Zacharias Moussaoui, the alleged "20th hijacker" in the 11 September attacks.

Reid was jailed for life in the US for attempting to blow up a transatlantic jet with explosives in his shoes.

But al-Faisal said he had never met either man because they had attended two years after he had left.

The Muslim cleric went on to set up his own study circles in the mid-1990s in Tower Hamlets, east London.

He had been stopped by customs at Heathrow in 2000 when lecture notes were seized.

But it was only after one of his tapes was found by police post-11 September that he was arrested.

In February 2004, al-Faisal lost his appeal against conviction. However, the Court of Appeal reduced his sentence from nine years to seven years.

He was released on parole after serving half of his sentence for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.

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