Gardaí investigate claim of extremists in Ireland

Gardaí have been interviewing an Irish Muslim convert who claimed that there are at least 150 extremists operating in Ireland and that a second terrorist from the London attack spent time here.

Aliyah, 26, made these claims at a press conference in the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council (IMPIC) last Friday.

The Irishwoman said she converted to Islam at 18, after moving to London and became radicalised to the extent Osama Bin Laden was her phone’s screensaver.

She associated with the group of London attacker Khuram Butt and convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary in Britain.

She has since been deradicalised with the help of an imam in Barking, London.

Since returning home to Ireland Aaliyah made contact with Irish imam, Umar Al-Qadri of IMPIC, who she told of her experience with the extremists and he organised a press conference.

Aaliyah claimed that Butt travelled to Ireland on several occasions.

It had previously been confirmed that another of the London Bridge attackers, Rachid Redouane had spent time here, but not Butt.

“There are definitely more than 150 [extremists living in Ireland], easily. They own properties in some places,” Aaliyah said at last Friday’s press conference. “I know a lot of them came here to apply for visas and stuff like that.”

Following her public claims, she was interviewed by gardaí over two days. It is understood she met with the Racial, Intercultural, and Diversity Unit and the Counter Terrorism Unit.

The interview process was described by a source as “very, very comprehensive”.

The gardaí were asked about the meetings with Aaliyah but did not comment directly on them.

“An Garda Síochána continue to liaise closely with security and law enforcement agencies in the UK and internationally to share and assess any relevant intelligence and provide assistance where appropriate. An Garda Síochána does not comment on statements made by a third party,” a spokesman said.

Dr Al-Qadri said that after spending almost three years highlighting the threat of extremists in Ireland, he is now confident action will be taken.

“I have been speaking out for two-and-a-half to three years now,” he said. “Some mosques are still in denial and some are listening and agreeing. Now alarm bells have been ringing at a very high level. I believe there will be a proper investigation and proper resources will be put into it.”


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