Irish Muslim convert Khalid Kelly has defended ISIS, saying the terror group had “no choice” but to commit the brutal murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.

“This is world war,” warned Kelly.

The Dubliner, who was born Terence Edward Kelly, said the confrontation between ISIS and the United States and its allies was a “battle between good and evil.”

He was formerly head of Al Majaroun, a a banned Salafi-Wahhabi Islamist terrorist organisation that was based in Britain and which has been linked to international terrorism, homophobia and anti-semitism.

The group was proscribed under the UK Terrorism Act 2000 in January 2010 together with four other organisations.

He told the Irish Mirror that thousands of European Muslims are joining the Islamic State because their religion is under attack.

“[For] Almost 100 years Muslims have not had an Islamic state, since it was dis-established in 1924,” he said.

“Being without state meant Muslims became weak with no one to defend Islam. Now Islamic State has been established.

“Of course it is only natural for Muslims to want to go defend their religion. Islam has been under attack for decades now.

“Just to be clear, no one wants to see anyone being killed or beheaded. We don’t want war, we want peace but the whole world is attacking us so there is no choice but to fight,” said Kelly, who is believed to be under close watch by Irish police.

Gardai reportedly contacted FM104 host Chris Barry earlier this month, asking him for the recordings of one of his radio shows during which Kelly advised Irish peacekeeping troops in Syria to join ISIS.   

The Irish Mirror asked Kelly if he would join the militants himself.

“It is illegal now to join ISIS so no one can comment on that,” Kelly answered.

“I’m not encouraging anyone to go. I’m only commenting on what ISIS are actually doing and trying to explain it from an Islamic perspective.

“I completely understand that people are shocked at the nature of the executions.

“There’s killings everywhere over there at present. No one likes to see this.”

Read more: Irish jihadi defends ISIS beheading of British aid worker David Haines

Although a vast majority of Muslims worldwide have voiced their disapproval of ISIS, Kelly refused to acknowledge their disapproval and claimed the intervention by the U.S. in the Middle East was a “war against Islam.”

“The Muslim criteria for judging right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil, is taken from God in the Koran,” he said.

“We want to live under the law of God, not the law of man. This is indeed a battle between good and evil, belief and disbelief, Christianity and Islam.The truth will become clear to the world about the hypocrisy of the USA and UK.”

When the Irish Mirror pointed out that Christianity was the most represented religion in Ireland, Kelly conceded that his fellow Irish citizens are “good people” but he considers himself “Muslim first, and Irish second.”

He said that it was the permissive nature of Western society that made Europe and North America evil.

“What makes anywhere evil is what God says makes it evil,” said Kelly.

“Homosexuality, alcohol, sex, drugs, sex outside of marriage are all widely available and have become the norm.

“In the Islamic state all these things are illegal. This is why Islam will reform and change the world.”