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“Hate preacher’ banned over terrorism fears?

Published:Saturday | February 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson

It appears that a concern about possible links between radical preachers and terrorism was among the reasons United States-based 'hate preacher' Steven Anderson was prevented from entering Jamaica.

While the Ministry of National Security is yet to give an official statement about the banning of Anderson, presenters at a conference on organised crime in New Kingston last week regularly referenced the controversial churchman.

"He has been in the news here ... radical pastor Steven Anderson ... is he a terrorist? Can we look at his funding?" asked Neil Bennett, London-based financial crime expert as he pointed to financial and theoretical links between terrorists and extremists.

According to Bennett, while Anderson was not a criminal, it was in Jamaica's best interest not to allow him into the country to preach his hate messages last week.


Extremist Preachers


"In the UK (United Kingdom) if you are a terrorist, there are loads of legislation against them, but people can have extremist views, and they can make sure that they are heard," added Bennett, as he pointed to a string of extremist preachers who have been linked to, or carried out, terrorist plots in the United Kingdom.

Bennett was speaking at a conference put on by the Financial Investigations Division (FID), dubbed: 'Taking the profit out of crime. What does it take?'

He said that keeping track of the movements, messages, and funding of radical individuals is increasingly difficult, and charged that Anderson, in 2016, used social media to sing praises to a man who shot and killed 50 persons in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Anderson has repeatedly denied praising the shooter but in a YouTube video following the incident he said: "The good news is that there are 50 less paedophiles in this world.

"All I said was that I didn't feel bad for the people who died because they were disgusting paedophiles anyway that deserved to die, according to the Bible, but I didn't celebrate it or praise it because, obviously, I don't think it is right for people to take violent measures against these people. I don't believe in violence," added Anderson.

The controversial pastor who heads the Faithful World Baptist Church in Arizona, United States, has already been banned from the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Botswana because his messages are deemed to be hate speeches.