Undercover NY cop testifies after yearlong probe
Sheikh Abdullah Faisal, also known as Trevor William Forrest, was charged in New York State Supreme Court with soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree as a crime of terrorism, and other charges.
“Sheikh Faisal has used his influence and direction to groom and inspire terrorists who have bombed trains, attempted to blow up airliners and attack Americans here and overseas”, said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Seeking recruits for ISIS
The 53-year-old Muslim cleric was charged with seeking to recruit people to join Islamic State by New York prosecutors on Friday.
The US authorities have requested that Jamaica extradites al Faisal to answer to the charges.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Friday that al-Faisal used lectures, a website and videos to incite followers to join Islamic State, which is designated a terrorist organization by USA authorities.
Has always been on the radar
The cleric has always been on the radar of US counter terrorism authorities who feared that he would emerge as a recruiter of marginalized, disaffected youth in Jamaica.
In 2003 he was convicted under a rarely British law for inciting murder. He was deported to Jamaica in 2007 after being released. On his return to Jamaica the Islamic Council of Jamaica, had banned el-Faisal from preaching in the country’s mosques because of his inflammatory sermons.
In 2011, he was again deported to his homeland – this time from Kenya, where he was allegedly encouraging young fighters to join Islamic terrorists in Somalia.
Dedicated life to terror recruitment
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said al-Faisal “has dedicated his life to terror recruitment”. “Through his lectures, website and videos, he incites untold numbers of people around the world to take up the cause of jihad. As is alleged in this case, he provided material support to the Islamic State by facilitating the passage of a self-described ISIS sympathizer from NY to Syria”.
An undercover NYPD officer’s almost yearlong investigation into a Jamaica-based terror suspect as part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Counter Terrorism Program led to the man’s indictment in a New York State Supreme court, the DA’s office announced Friday.