Ex-mufti is Reported Captured; British Press Says Battleship Carrying Him to Exile

All Sunday newspapers today carried dispatches that the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, who last week escaped from France, has reportedly been captured and is being deported on a British warship to the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean.

Reuter reported today from Port Said that a British Admiralty statement announcing a routine search of the troopship “Devonshire” off Port Said yesterday, has done nothing to dissipate the belief generally held here that the Mufti is in the hands of the British authorities. It is thought the destroyer Virago, which had carried out the search on the Devonshire and afterwards went through the Suez Canal under special priority, is carrying the Mufti to Seychelles Islands, one of the world’s best known places of exile.

The mystery of how–if it proves to be the case–the Mufti got aboard the Devonshire has yet to be solved. But one widely-held belief is he was kidnapped, probably from Syria, perhaps from Damascus, Reuter said. The Devonshire was sailing towards Egypt and one report current here is that she was diverted from her course near the end of her Mediterranean journey.

What actually happened is a closely guarded secret, the Reuter story said. The Admiralty’s announcement regarding the search on the British transport Devonshire stated. “The Government is taking all possible steps to prevent the Mufti of Jerusalem from reaching the Middle East and the search of the Devonshire was one of the routine measures made necessary by the news that he had escaped from France.”

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