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JAMAICA | Legal battle begins to extradite radical Jamaican Muslim cleric

Trevor William Forrest (File Photo) Trevor William Forrest (File Photo)
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Aug 28, CMC – The legal battle has started to extradite Jamaican-born radical cleric, Trevor William Forrest, who has been indicted in the United States on charges that he used his public profile and personal network to recruit and provide support to those seeking to commit acts of violence and terrorism.

Forrest, 53, also known as “Shaikh Abdullah Faisal” and “Shaikh Faisal, was remanded into custody until September 11 when he appeared at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Monday.

His lawyers have already indicated that they intend to file an application for bail on behalf of their client , since the disclosure of documents will be made on October 27 when the cleric is due back in court.

Last Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Forrest used his network to aid the Islamic State.

They said Faisal had been indictment with soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree as a crime of terrorism and other charges.

The indictment follows a yearlong investigation by the New York Police Department (NYPD) Intelligence Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Counter Terrorism Programme, which was created in June 2015 to identify and pursue investigative leads related to home-grown terror plots, extremist activities and terror-financing.

“Shaikh 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,” Vance said.

“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 New York to Syria,” he added.

A charismatic leader, Vance said Faisal’s rhetoric has been cited by several convicted or suspected terrorists in New York, London and beyond.

Since 2014, Faisal, who was previously convicted in the United Kingdom of crimes related to inciting murder and using racially charged, hateful rhetoric in furtherance of terrorist ideologies, has publicly supported a terrorist organization known as the Islamic State, also known as “ISIS” or “ISIL”, and “called for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate through violent acts encouraged by the defendant’s online lectures and militant propaganda,” the indictment noted.

  • Countries: Jamaica