(AFP) The US Treasury Tuesday placed a Jamaica-based Islamic cleric on its terror blacklist, calling him a key recruiter for the Islamic State group and a propagandist who inspired numerous notorious jihadist attacks.
The Treasury placed Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal on its “specially designated global terrorist” sanctions blacklist, saying he helped Islamic State recruits travel to IS-controlled territory and was trusted by the jihadist group to vouch for potential recruits.
In addition, according to the Treasury, he “has directly or indirectly influenced numerous terrorists” including, they said, attacks stretching back to the attempt by Richard Reid to blow up an American Airlines flight headed to Miami in December 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoes.
Faisal, 54, is currently under arrest in Jamaica and facing extradition to the United States.
Born in Jamaica under the name Trevor Forrest, he is linked to the jihadist group Authentic Tauheed, which is aligned with Islamic State, according to the Counter Extremism Project.
He was an imam in London’s Brixton district and was convicted in 2003 of soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred, spending four years in prison before being released and expelled to Jamaica.
After that he also spent time in Africa and has a base of support in Kenya, according to the Counter Extremism Project. Several people died in protests in support of Faisal in January 2010 when the Kenyan government moved to expel him from the country.