Ali Charaf Damache will be extradited to either Ireland or Algeria after his sentence
Algerian-born Irish citizen Ali Charaf Damache has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on terrorism charges.
RTÉ reports that Damache, 53, was sentenced in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after he pleaded guilty to charges in July. He was arrested in Spain in 2015 and later extradited to the US in 2017.
Prior to living in Spain, Damache reportedly resided in both Cork and Waterford.
Damache was arrested in Spain in 2015 on suspicion of plotting to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks who had published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The Irish High Court initially denied a US extradition request that same year.
In 2017, Damache was extradited to the US on accusations of him being the ringleader for a group of jihadists who were plotting attacks in Europe and Southern Asia. Colleen LaRose - nicknamed Jihad Jane - was allegedly also part of this same terror cell. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2014.
US Attorney William McSwain said in a statement that Damache’s sentencing “marks the end of a long and arduous prosecution that has spanned more than nine years, involved four defendants and five unnamed co-conspirators, and required multiple coordinated international arrests and two extradition applications.”
"Damache and his co-conspirators were motivated by hate and prejudice, and their criminal activities presented a very real danger to our country and the world," McSwain said.
In a statement, the State Attorney and Assistant State Attorney for Philadelphia said: "Damache, his co-defendant Mohammad Hassan Khalid, and others conspired to support, recruit, and coordinate a terrorist cell, consisting of men and women from Europe and the United States, to wage violent jihad in and around Europe.”
“Among those with whom Damache conspired is Jamie Paulin Ramirez, a resident of Colorado, and Colleen R. LaRose, a/k/a Fatima LaRose, a/k/a Jihad Jane, a resident of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania."
"Though there were several involved in the conspiracy, Damache was the driving force behind the terrorist cell that he formed. He enticed LaRose and Ramirez to travel to Ireland to live with him and train in the ways of violent jihad; convinced Khalid, LaRose, and others to recruit men online to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe; and began to coordinate explosives training for his co-conspirators. He also trained Ramirez’s young son in the ways of violent jihad."
Damache accepted a 15-year prison sentence and renounced any appeals. Additionally, he agreed to extradition to either Algeria or Ireland at the end of his sentence.