Ireland’s High Court has heard how Algerian-born Irish citizen Ali Charaf Damache, 48, who is wanted in the United States on international terrorism charges, had planned to go with a group to train in explosives with Al-Qaeda to support terrorist attacks against US and Europe.
Damache has lived in Ireland for ten years. He is wanted in the United States for charges relating to the conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism. If convicted of these crimes he could face 45 years in prison.
On Tuesday, Counsel for the Attorney General, Remy Farrell, opened extradition proceedings. The indictment alleged that Damache made contact, via the Internet, with American woman Colleen LaRose, known as “Jihad Jane.. Damache told her he was a devout jihadist living in Ireland and interested in traveling to Pakistan to fight the United States and others.
It was alleged that Damache planned for a group to travel to an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, to get explosives training and return to Europe to support attacks that would kill American and European citizens. Farrell said Damache allegedly coordinated LaRose’s departure from the US, accommodation in the Netherlands and gave her spiritual guidance. She later flew to Ireland.
In October 2000 LaRose was arrested. She admitted to her involvement in the plot to kill Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks.
Justice John Edwards adjourned the case to hear a separate application for leave to seek judicial review of the extradition proceedings.
Damache’s lawyer, Mícheál O’Higgins, told the court that in essence it was contended that the United States had “cherry-picked the most American parts” of the alleged offences for their request.
Judicial review proceedings are expected to continue at the High Court in Dublin.