PARIS: France on Thursday deported to Egypt a radical imam who for months had been inciting followers in Paris area mosques to rise up against the West, the government said.
Described as dangerous, Ali Ibrahim Al-Sudani was detained and sent back to Egypt under an emergency deportation order, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said in a statement.
“The secret services had identified this dangerous individual who for the past months had been delivering sermons calling for a fight against the West in several mosques in the Seine-Saint-Denis area, said Hortefeux in a statement.
Sudani, aged around 27, showed “contempt for our society’s values and incited violence, he added.
The Egyptian national was the 29th imam or Islamic preacher to have been deported from France since 2001, according to the interior ministry.
In all, 129 Islamic radicals have been expelled from French territory, it added.
French security agencies had been tracking Sudani since 2008 and found his Jihadist teachings to be “quite hardline, said an official close to the case.
The radical imam, who boarded a plane bound for Cairo on Thursday, preached at several mosques in the suburbs east of Paris but also at prayer houses in the capital.
Hortefeux said he had ordered the security agencies to remain vigilant and said he was ready to order more deportations of Islamists.
“The preachers of hate, who have nothing to do with religious freedom, have no place on our territory, said Hortefeux.
An official from a Muslim organization who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP that Sudani did not have legal residency in France.
He had been active in a prayer house set up in a public housing project in Aubervilliers, outside Paris. The mayor of the town had been alarmed by his teachings and had asked him to leave. -AFP