Alleged ISIS fundraiser facing expulsion from Ireland
A Dublin-based alleged jihadi fundraiser is facing expulsion from the country after a new review into his residency was launched following the Paris terror attacks.
The Sunday World this week confronted the Middle Eastern man – who is suspected of funnelling cash to ISIS in Syria – outside his North Dublin home, where he denied any connection to terror groups ISIS or Al Qaeda.
But political sources this week confirmed that the residency status of the Middle Eastern-born national is one of 10 cases being examined by government officials.
Sources said a number of Government TDs have approached Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald over the past week, specifically asking for the alleged fundraiser’s particulars to be closely examined with a view to issuing a deportation order.
It is believed he could be expelled under a clause in The Scheme of Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill.
We can also today report how the suspected jihadi fundraiser:
- Was a known associate of 26-year-old Irish national Alaa Ciymeh, who was killed fighting with the rebel brigade Liwa al-Umma in Syria in 2013;
- Came to Ireland in the early 2000s seeking asylum before gaining residency in 2005, based on the fact he had a child of Irish birth; and
- Was later placed on a terror ‘watchlist’ after foreign intelligence agencies contacted Gardaí in relation to cash transfers to suspected jihadi fighters.
Approached outside his Dublin home on Friday, we asked: “Do you have any connection to any illegal organisations?”
“No,” came the response.
“What about Al Qaeda? ISIS?”
Laughing off the question he responded: “Thank you for coming! Go now.” He then drove away.
A well-placed political source confirmed to the Sunday World that the Department of Justice was examining the residency status of a number of foreign nationals who have been identified as having links to jihadi groups.
“A number of Government TDs have raised the matter with Frances Fitzgerald,” the source said.
“She has assured Government TDs that such residency visas will be examined to determine whether there are grounds to deport individuals in the event they are consorting or providing funding to Jihadi fighters.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice further confirmed to the Sunday World: “We are in regular contact with An Garda Síochána about immigration cases and any time they alert us to security concerns, they are reviewed on foot of the information provided.”
The suspected jihadi fundraiser was a close associate of 26-year-old Dubliner Alaa Ciymeh, who was killed fighting with the rebel brigade Liwa al-Umma in Syria in 2013.
The Dubliner’s family, who are Palestinian, moved to Ireland when Alaa was very young.
He moved back to Jordan in 2008, before joining the uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad 18 months before his death.
He had travelled to Syria as part of Liwa al-Umma, a rebel brigade founded by a Libyan-Irish man named Mehdi al-Harati.
Up to 20 men from Ireland are estimated to have joined rebel forces in Syria.
Patrick O'Connell and Eamon Dillon