• Philippines deports Canadian preacher, says he’s security risk

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    A Canadian Islamic preacher detained for being a security threat in the Philippines was flown back to Canada after agreeing to be deported, the Immigration bureau said on Sunday.

    Jamaican-born Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips was returned to Canada late on Saturday after being detained last weekend in southern Philippines while on a lecture tour.

    This came after Immigration commissioners approved his request for voluntary deportation, effectively cutting short deportation proceedings against him.

    “He was charged for being an undesirable foreign national and for being inadmissible at the time of entry,” the bureau said in a statement.

    It earlier noted that Philips was blacklisted based on information that he might conduct activities that were a threat to national security.

    Police said Philips may have ties to extremist groups as they prevented him from holding a series of lectures in Mindanao where the Philippines’ restive Muslim minority is based.

    Philips acknowledged that he was blacklisted in the United States, Britain, Australia and Kenya but said this was based partly on statements that were taken out of context.

    He was the second Islamic convert preacher to be detained by the Philippines since July, when it arrested and later deported Robert Edward Cerantonio to Australia.

    Police said Cerantonio had used the Internet to urge people to join the “jihad” in Iraq and Syria, though they said they had no evidence to show he had managed to recruit any Filipinos.

    Two Muslim guerrilla groups, the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, both based in southern Philippines, have uploaded videos on the Internet pledging alliance to the Islamic State militants who have overrun large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

    AFP

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