The London Bridge attacker believed to have spent time in Ireland was not known to Muslim leaders here.
Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland said he had never personally heard of the man identified as Rachid Redouane, who claimed Moroccan nationality, nor had anyone in the community that he had spoken to.
“I never heard that name before and it is not familiar to anyone I have spoken to, so if he was in Dublin, he was not in contact with the community,” he said.
“It would be strange not to know someone from Morocco if they were attending the Mosque. We have quite a few people from North Africa, in particular from Algeria, but you can count the number of Moroccans on one hand.”
Imam Yahia Al-Hussein of the Islamic Foundation of Ireland said he was also surprised by the reports that the terrorist had Irish links.
“I don’t know of him and there is anger and upset that someone associated with something so awful and terrible as happened in London might have been in Dublin,” he said.
“It’s unimaginable that a person would kill innocent people in the name of Islam when this is completely against the teaching of Islam.”
Redouane, who was around 30 years old, was carrying an identity card issued by immigration authorities which gave an address in Rathmines, Dublin, as his place of residence.
If correct, the documents suggest Redouane was in Ireland sometime between 2014 and 2016, and that he was married to an English woman, with whom he had a daughter. It appears the couple split either before or shortly after their child was born.
The possibility Redouane planned the London attacks while living in Ireland has caused major concern among gardaí who keep 30 to 40 Islamic extremists under surveillance.
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