Man in High Court on foot of US terror charges extradition warrant

A man arrested three years ago during an investigation into an alleged conspiracy to murder a Swedish cartoonist has appeared in the High Court on foot of an extradition request from the US to face terrorism charges.

Ali Charaf Damache, born in Algeria but an Irish citizen, is indicted in the US on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism. Three other people, including American women Colleen LaRose, who called herself “Jihad Jane”, and Damache’s wife, Jamie Paulin Rameriz, are facing similar charges in the US.

Damache, a 47-year-old Muslim, was arrested in Waterford city on Mar 9, 2010, as part of an investigation by US authorities and gardaí into an alleged conspiracy to kill cartoonist Lars Vilks.

Mr Damache was never charged here in relation to that investigation, but was charged with unrelated offences: of threatening to kill US attorney Majed Moughni and making a menacing phonecall to the lawyer on Jan 9, 2010.

The Waterford Circuit Criminal Court trial ended on Wednesday when Damache changed his plea to guilty in relation to making a menacing call. The charge of threatening to kill was withdrawn. He received a four-year sentence, with a year suspended. Having served almost three years in prison on remand, he was free to go.

However, Damache was arrested with a High Court warrant issued on foot of the US extradition request. In that court yesterday there was no application for bail. Damache was remanded in custody until next Tuesday.


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