Jamaican authorities confirmed the arrest of controversial Muslim cleric Shaikh Abdullah El-Faisal, who was trying to persuade an undercover New York police officer to join the terrorist organisation of Islamic State.
El-Faisal is no stranger to US authorities. Richard Reid, a British militant who famously tried to detonate explosives packed in one of his shoes on a US bound airplane in 2001, attended a London mosque where El-Faisal preached.
Now, following an indictment filed by Manhattan District Attorney's Office, 53 year old El-Faisal was arrested in Jamaica on five different terrorism related charges.
James O'Neil, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, stated that: "Shaikh El-Faisal has used his influence and direction to groom and inspire terrorists who have bombed trains, attempted to blow up airlines and attack Americans here and abroad,"
The arrest came after a long investigation in which undercover agents in the US established a relationship of trust with the controversial cleric via email, text messaging and several video chats. El-Faisal first provided the agents with ISIS propaganda before eventually proposing that they would travel to the Middle East to offer support to the jihad.
Wanting to hold off on the offer, the undercover US agents informed the cleric that because of the war, it would not be easy for them to travel to Syria. He responded that he would immediately arrange for them to marry a woman in Syria for quicker access to the Middle East.
In the end, members of the New York Police department did travel to the Middle East, and once they arrived, El-Faisal put them in touch with a contact in Raqqa, Syria.
It is still unclear how El-Faisal radicalised. He grew up in Montego bay, Jamaica, and attended the Maldon Primary and Junior High School, but eventually ended up in the United Kingdom. There he served a four-year prison term for inciting racial hatred and urging his followers to murder Jews, Hindus, Christians, and Americans. He was deported in 2007. Al-Faisal fled to Kenya, from which he was deported in 2010 and then went back to Jamaica.