Ireland and its Government, must Protect its People, from Extreme Islamic Muslims, and Stop Licking their Asses. Deport Terrorists? Scary to Think, a Mayo Town?

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€175,000 seized and suspect arrested as part of garda probe into financing of Islamist terrorism

Ken Foy 

20th August 2022

A garda anti-terrorism unit investigating Islamist extremism seized around €175,000 in cash and arrested a suspect as part of a terrorist financing investigation when they raided a premises in Mayo this week.

Armed members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU) were involved in the planned operation, which led to the suspect – aged in his early 40s – being brought to Castlebar garda station for questioning on Monday.

He was later released without charge and detailed investigations into his alleged activities are ongoing, with a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The suspect is originally from a Middle Eastern country but has lived in Ireland for a number of years. He is involved in running a prominent business in a Mayo town.

Sources say he was previously investigated by authorities here in relation to the smuggling and sale of cigarettes, but he has no criminal convictions.

A main focus of the investigation will be the suspect’s links to Syria and other Middle Eastern countries.

“Information has come in that this suspect has been sending money out of the country to the Middle East, which is one cause of huge concern,” a source said.

The arrest and search operation were carried out in a very discreet fashion as this is a sensitive case

The arrest and search operation were carried out in a very discreet fashion as this is a sensitive case

“Another major cause of concern is how and why he had such a large amount of cash when gardaí carried out the raid.

“This individual was certainly under the radar in terms of involvement in general crime, but his arrest and the cash seizure are very significant and highly unusual.

“The arrest and search operation were carried out in a very discreet fashion as this is a sensitive case.”

Arrests for terrorist financing are relatively rare in Ireland, with only four arrests of jihadist terror suspects being made in the country last year.

The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT), produced by Europol, was published last month. It gave no details of the four jihadist terrorism suspects who were arrested in Ireland in 2021.

It is unclear whether this week’s arrest in Mayo is the first this year.

Garda operations investigating international jihadi terror groups are considered highly confidential.

In 2020, gardaí arrested 18 men and women in Ireland for this type of offence. The majority of the Irish-based suspects were detained on suspicion of fundraising for terror organisations by sending money to countries including Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Those arrested included Irish citizens, foreign nationals, and people with dual citizenship.

Between 2017 and 2021 there were 30 arrests of people in relation to Islamic extremism. In the five years before that there had been just one.

Several anti-terrorist investigations are ongoing by the SDU. These investigations target lone individuals and groups that include men and women with Irish nationality, dual nationalities, and foreign nationalities.

Sources say prosecutions for financing terrorism are rare. This is because of the difficulty involved in proving a donation to a person or entity is for the purpose of supporting terrorism.

However, what makes this week’s seizure different to many other Irish cases is the very large amount of money seized by gardaí.

Former soldier-turned-Isis member Lisa Smith – currently serving a 15-month sentence for being a member of the group – was found not guilty in the Special Criminal Court of financing terrorism.

The Dundalk woman was acquitted of a charge of financing terrorism by sending money to a man in May 2015 for the benefit of Isis.

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