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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – A radical Muslim cleric who served time in a British jail for inciting murder and stirring racial hatred has arrived in Jamaica, the second time he was deported to his native country.
Abdullah el-Faisal arrived in Kingston by private jet Friday night after he traveled from Burkina Faso to Antigua via Cape Verde, authorities said.
El-Faisal spoke briefly to reporters before he left in a minivan with two members of the local Muslim community.
“I’m traveling for two days and you want me to give you an interview?” he was quoted as saying in Saturday’s edition of the Jamaica Observer newspaper. “It was a very good flight. It was a private jet. I am very happy to be back home.”
It is unclear where Faisal will live. He previously lived in Spanish Town, just outside Kingston.
Deputy police chief Glenmore Hinds said late Friday that police will maintain surveillance on him but did not provide specifics.
“We’ll be doing everything to ensure the safety of Jamaicans will not be compromised,” he said.
El-Faisal once led a London mosque attended by convicted terrorists, and Britain has said that his teachings heavily influenced one of the bombers in the 2005 transport network attacks in London that killed 52 people.
In 2007, Britain deported him to Jamaica after he spent four years in jail for urging the killing of Americans, Hindus, Jews and Christians.
In 2009, el-Faisal toured several African countries until he was arrested last month in Kenya. Muslim youth demanded his release during a deadly protest Jan. 15 at a downtown Nairobi mosque that led to the arrest of 400 people. The Muslim Human Rights Forum said at least five people were killed when police shot at demonstrators, while the government says only one person died.
Attempts to deport el-Faisal failed earlier this month when he was denied a transit visa when he arrived in Nigeria en route to Gambia, which had agreed to host him. He was then flown back to Kenya.
Britain, South Africa, Tanzania and the U.S. earlier denied el-Faisal the transit visas he needed to return to Jamaica.