herald

Monday 5 December 2016

IS terror leader in Ireland is living on welfare

Garda: File photo
Garda: File photo

The leader of an IS terror network in Ireland is unemployed and living on welfare, the Herald can reveal.

Our picture shows the extremist attending a prayer gathering in Dublin this week.

He is classified as a major terrorist suspect by international counter-terrorism agencies and is top of the gardai's list of targets.

According to sources, the extremist is head of a very small IS [Islamic State] network in Ireland, a grouping that receives very little support from the Muslim community here.

The man - who is in his 50s and of Middle Eastern origin - is not working and spends a lot of time in his apartment, leaving very occasionally.

The IS extremist pictured attending prayers in Dublin this week
The IS extremist pictured attending prayers in Dublin this week

He and the rest of his small network are subject to constant surveillance by the specialist garda unit known as Counter Terrorism International (CTI).

Arrest

It is understood that a number of the men involved, including the leader, face arrest in other countries if they leave this jurisdiction.

Sources said that while the members of the IS network do not pose a threat to security here they are believed to be providing logistical support to radicalised young western-born men intent on travelling to Syria to fight for the terror organisation.

Western security agencies say these fighters were radicalised further in the warzone and pose d a serious threat when they returned with orders to wage terror in their home countries.

The leader of the network is suspected of procuring false documents and passports as well as providing small sums of cash to pay for travel and subsistence.

The man, who lives in Dublin, was issued with a deportation order as a result of his connections to Islamic terror groups.

However, the suspect challenged the order after his Irish-born teenage son returned from the Middle East where he was living with his mother since he was a young child.

Citizen

Under international law the father cannot be deported because the boy is an Irish citizen and still in school.

It is understood that the terror suspect is still challenging the orde,r which can be executed when the child reaches the age of 18.

Claiming to be a businessman, the man has had a long association with extremist Muslim terror groups including Al Qaeda.

He fought alongside Muslim extremists in wars in Chechnya and Bosnia during the 1990s.

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