Third guilty plea in Irish-American terror investigation

A third person arrested as part of an Irish-American investigation into an alleged Islamic terror plot has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.

The teenager was accused of offering assistance to American woman “Jihad Jane” and other members of an Irish-based conspiracy to murder a Swedish cartoonist who drew derogatory images of the prophet, Mohammed.

Mohammed Hassan Khalid, 18, faces a potential sentence of 15 years in jail and a $250,000 (€194,000) fine at sentencing.

A Pakistani citizen and legal US resident, Khalid pleaded guilty at the US district court in Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and one count of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

He joins Colleen R LaRose, aka Jihad Jane, and fellow US citizen Jamie Paulin Ramirez in pleading guilty to terrorism charges in connection with an alleged plot to kill Lars Vilks who depicted the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.

LaRose, one of the alleged ringleaders of the plot, spent time in Ireland in Sept 2009 organising the conspiracy before returning to the US in October, where she was arrested on arrival by the FBI.

Ramirez was one of seven people arrested in Waterford and Cork in Mar 2010 as part of a massive US-Irish investigation into the alleged plot.

Following her arrest, she voluntarily returned to the US, where she was arrested.

LaRose was charged in Feb 2011 and pleaded guilty to terrorism charges, including conspiracy to kill in a foreign country. She faces a possible life sentence. Ramirez pleaded guilty in Mar 2011 to a single count of providing material support to terrorists and faces up to 15 years in prison. The sentencing in both their cases has yet to be arranged.

Gardaí submitted detailed files to the DPP in relation to a possible prosecution here for international terrorism.

The Irish Examiner has learned the DPP has issued a final decision on this file, recommending no prosecutions be taken.

It is understood that the US department of justice has sought the extradition of a man in Ireland to face terrorism charges there.

A statement issued by the US department said the investigation leading to prosecution of Khalid, LaRose, and Ramirez was carried out by various FBI offices with the assistance of Irish authorities.


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