Robert 'Musa' Cerantonio, right, is driven from Melbourne Airport. The radical cleric was deported from the Philippines. Photo: Eddie Jim
Outspoken extremist preacher Robert ‘‘Musa’’ Cerantonio has walked free after landing at Melbourne Airport and spending hours with police and customs officials.
The controversial cleric, who has spoken openly in the past to media, reneged on his promise to speak to reporters on arrival, and spoke only to ask directions out of the airport from security officials.
Robert 'Musa' Cerantonio arrives at Melbourne Airport Photo: Eddie Jim
After seeming disoriented, Mr Cerantonio appeared to follow an unidentified man to a car driven by a man who said he was Mr Cerantonio's father.
The 29-year-old walked in silence but acknowledged reporters when they asked for his views on police questioning, his passport, his support in Australia and whether he would continue to post videos online.
Mr Cerantonio was detained by customs and police for nearly three hours but walked free at about 9.45am after arriving on a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila.
The Australian government cancelled his passport because he was calling for Muslims to wage jihad.
He urged young men to join the fighting in Iraq and Syria on the side of the terrorist network the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Mr Cerantonio, considered to be one of the most influential Islamic preachers in support of Middle-East jihadists, began his life in Melbourne's western suburbs as the son of Italian-Irish parents.
He is under investigation by the Australian Federal Police under the Foreign Incursions Act, which prohibits fighting with foreign paramilitary organisations.
An AFP statement said Mr Cerantonio was deported as a result of invalid travel documentation.
AFP officers met him at the airport and he was ''spoken to in relation to a number of issues''.
''Mr Cerantonio's known social media postings are considered offensive and disturbing, however, have been assessed as not breaching Australian law to this point,'' the statement said.
The AFP will continue to monitor and assess material related to Mr Cerantonio for any breaches of Australian law into the future, the statement said.
Before being deported, Mr Cerantonio was held alone in a cell in an immigration jail in a Manila police camp.
The jail holds many of the Philippines' high security prisoners.