A radical Jamaican cleric, Abdullah al-Faisal, who was recently deported from several African countries, was operating a “suicide bomber camp” in Botswana, a publication has claimed.
Two young Botswana nationals are said to be under surveillance by law enforcement agencies after evidence emerged that they were at some point under the tutelage of al-Faisal.
Abdullah al-Faisal was thrown out of Botswana “on suspicions that he was recruiting young Batswana to become suicide bombers”, the paper said.
According to The Sunday Standard the cleric had links with a Nigerian man who tried to bomb an American airline over the Christmas holidays.
Abdullah al-Faisal, who is on an international list of suspected terrorists, was deported from Britain several years ago after preaching hatred against Jews, Hindus, and the West.
The cleric, according to the paper, “wanted to establish a youth development facility, which he would employ as a pretext to train Batswana’s to become suicide bombers.
It is not clear when he was deported from Botswana.
Abdullah al-Faisal was in the news recently when Kenya also deported him to Gambia. Kenya said Faisal was deported because of his “terrorist history”.
Also Kenyan authorities said Faisal had arrived in Kenya on 24 December after travelling through Angola, Nigeria, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Al-Faisal’s native Jamaica would not accept him, the paper said.
Sunday Standard said that prior to his deportation from Botswana, al-Faisal was in the process of acquiring a work and residence permit, which he was denied as he was already under security surveillance.
Al-Faisal is said to have been operating a training camp in a thicket of bushes at a town called Lobatse. The camp has since been destroyed by security agents.
During his stay in Bostwana, al-Faisal is believed to have conscripted young school drop outs “to become terrorists, targeting the FIFA World Cup scheduled to be held in neighbouring South Africa by June this year” the paper claimed.
He made a series of public lectures at University of Botswana, and donated clothes to the needy in several locations.
“This, it is believed, was a ploy to win the hearts and minds of the locals he tried wooing to his radical Islam” the paper said.
Born in St James, Jamaica, in 1963 under the name of Trevor William Forrest and raised as a Christian by parents who were very active in the Salvation Army, al-Faisal’s career as a terrorist couldn’t be more surprising.
He is believed to have left for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the age of 16, where he obtained a degree in Islamic studies, after eight years, before returning to the United Kingdom.
Pic: Zakumi 2010 World Cup mascot