Shaikh Abdullah Faisal, 59, a radical Islamic cleric, never blew up a building, or plotted to. Instead, he gave impassioned speeches in London and beyond about violent jihad, and played matchmaker for would-be ISIS brides.
NY Post (h/t VMS) Born into an evangelist Christian family in Jamaica, Faisal converted to Islam in high school, and had been inciting violence against “infidels” — even urging throat-slittings and beheadings — since the late ’90s.
Faisal advised women who dreamed of traveling to the Islamic State and marrying a jihadist to buy two-way tickets and remove their headscarves to escape the notice of “infidels,” authorities say. Two of those “brides” turned out to be undercover NYPD cops, and Faisal is now on trial for terror charges in state court in Manhattan.
During opening statements in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, prosecutors described Shaikh Abdullah Faisal, 59, as an Islamic State recruiter and marriage broker who had committed “far reaching crimes of terrorism.”
Faisal is accused of communicating with the undercover NYPD officer by e-mail, text and video chat in a bid to encourage her to join ISIS and carry out attacks overseas from 2015 to 2017. He also allegedly offered to introduce the woman — who was posing as a would-be jihadist — to a suitable husband within the terror group.
“This defendant, with his extremist roots, formed an integral relationship with ISIS. He worked and aided ISIS and his mission to inflict terror,” Assistant District Attorney Gary Galperin told the jurors. You will conclude that the defendant not only talked the talk but also walked the walk that he paved with concrete crimes of terrorism.”
The militant cleric — born Trevor William Forrest in Jamaica — had made various online posts that pointed to his alleged extremism, prosecutors said. They pointed to one of Osama Bin Laden’s speeches that Faisal had published on his website and insisted that “every word is a gem.”
“By Allah’s permission we will be taking a look at a speech that was delivered by Osama Bin Laden…. everything he said is of extreme importance — every word is like a gem,” the alleged terrorist wrote, according to prosecutors.
In speeches he gave and posted online, prosecutors say Faisal allegedly encouraged followers to wage jihad against enemies of Islam and even kill Americans, Jews and Hindis.
“The way forward is not the ballot. The way forward is the bullet,” he said in one speech, according to the indictment. “You should cut the throats of the kafirs (filthy unbelievers) with machetes,” he told followers, using a term for nonbelievers.
Faisal — who served four years in prison following his 2003 conviction for inciting racial hatred in Britain — was arrested in his native Jamaica in 2017 and extradited to New York. He has pleaded not guilty to five counts — including conspiracy as a crime of terrorism and soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism. The charges carry potential sentences ranging from seven to 25 years in prison.
Faisal’s defense attorney, Alex Grosshtern, argued in his opening statements that there was no evidence his client actually committed an act of terrorism — and urged the jury not to judge him on his statements. “The evidence will not show him planning an actual act of terrorism against the United States,” Grosshtern told jurors.
He added that the evidence also won’t show that “there was a recruitment of a female to go to Syria and assist ISIS in engaging in any specific act of terrorism.”
Sheikh Abdullah Faisal and His Ideology of Hate:
“[The]United Snakes of America is the most racist country in the world. The white man in America is a dictator because he suffers from white supremacy. He goes to countries and tries to dictate how the country should run and operate.”
“Any Mujahid [religious fighter] who doesn’t give his bayah (allegiance) to Dawla (ISIS) is a fake Jihadi and his death will b in vain. So please b warned.”
“Our females make us proud by joining IS (The Islamic State, or ISIS).”
“When you see that the Dawla cut off the heads of Shi’as you will think that’s extreme, these people are crazy…first of all, the classical scholars did not consider Shi’as as Muslims…you don’t know what the Shi’as believe and you don’t know why the Dawla is so harsh against the Shi’as.”
“The Jews are the most racist people in the world because they reject Muhammad in the name of racism.”
“The Jews wrote a book called the Talmud. This book is the most racist book. The book states that the Goy (non-Jews) were created to work as slaves for the Jews.”
“Another example is if a Muslim man cannot find a Muslim woman to marry and he has the option of marrying a Christian or a Jew he should marry the Christian and shun the Jew because Allah said those who hate Muslims the most are Jews and Pagans.”
“Allah made takfeer [declaring an individual as a non-believer] on the Gays in the Quran.” “Therefore, Allah didn’t give Gays the right to be Muslims.”
“In the Hadith below of ibn Abbas the Holy Prophet (saw) has commanded us to kill all homosexuals who are caught in the act.”
“However, Allah has made takfir [declaring an individual as a non-believer] on the Jews and Christians and said they are the worst of created creatures in the Ayah below:
“To call Jesus(as) God, like Christians, is shirk [the sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism].”