Lorenzo Prieto on January 27, 2023

According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, radical Islamic cleric Shaikh Abdullah Faisal was convicted Thursday on several counts of supporting terrorism.

The New York Times reported that Faisal promoted a radical interpretation of Islam that supported killing nonbelievers. As a result, he was imprisoned in Britain in 2003 and deported from Kenya in 2010. As a result of Faisal’s attempt to recruit an undercover officer into ISIS, District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Thursday that he had been found guilty of several counts of lending support to terrorism.

“This case was about the far reach of crimes committed by Shaikh Faisal and the promotion of terrorism. Faisal aided ISIS as it committed horrific violence against innocent people,” Bragg said. “I am proud of the work our prosecutors and analysts have done in collaboration with NYPD to ensure we stay ahead of these threats and ensure greater safety and security for all. We will continue to use the full force of our Counter Terrorism Program.”

The investigation started in 2016 when an undercover NYPD officer, posing as an aspiring jihadist, began communicating with Faisal via email. Faisal, who at the time lived in Jamaica, encouraged the officer to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS, offering her a husband who already a member of the terrorist organization.

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“This is a consequential case,” Bragg told The New York Times. “It’s important here in downtown Manhattan to address this specific conduct and to deter others who may be like-minded.”

Faisal faces potential sentences between seven to 25 years in prison, according to the New York Post.

“This defendant threatened the safety of thousands by providing material support for an international terrorist organization,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in the announcement. “Identifying and stopping individuals like this before they can harm the United States and our people are the ideals upon which our Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureaus were established. I commend and thank the investigators from the NYPD, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and all of our partner agencies for their tireless work on this important case.”

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