NewsCrime Desk

Isis supporters using Ireland as a base to recruit new followers and raise cash

Crime DeskBy Eamon Dillon
Isis militants wave the group's black flag in northern Iraq
Isis militants wave the group's black flag in northern Iraq

SUPPORTERS of the savage terror group Islamic State are using Ireland as a base to recruit new followers and to raise cash.

Vigilante hackers have uncovered dozens of ISIS supporters in Ireland who celebrated last week’s terrorist massacre in Paris.

Bloggers using Irish website domains and supporters on Twitter have praised the killers who carried out the atrocity that left 130 people dead.

They posted ISIS statements claiming responsibility for the attacks and more threats to kill people in Europe.

Much of the content features horrifically wounded and murdered civilians claimed to be the victims of the air war against Islamic State.

The extremists have responded to the use of the French flag to show solidarity on social media by changing their own profile pics to a French flag with a boot print.

One supporter on Twitter this week posted a photo of Islamic State militants on parade in Afghanistan.

It features a group of more than 70 heavily-armed fighters all equipped with matching uniforms posing for the camera. The same account retweets several other Twitter users who have since been suspended from the social media websites.

The hackers group known as Anonymous have declared a cyber war against Islamic State, posting details of websites and social media accounts to target. They have also leaked personal details of people suspected of being recruiters for ISIS.

This week it emerged that a man known to the authorities who has been linked to Islamic State is now based in Dublin. Described by a sources as a businessman based in north Dublin, he has previously been wounded fighting overseas for Islamic groups.

A close relation is also said to have been killed fighting with ISIS in Syria, according to sources.

Security forces across Europe remain on high alert, with Islamic State militants determined to carry out more attacks.  

Police in Belgium at the weekend enforced a security lockdown in Brussels amid fears of an “imminent” Paris-style attack. The city’s metro network was shut after the terror threat level was raised to its highest level in Belgium.

People were also warned to avoid public gatherings in Brussels as concerts and sports events were cancelled and shopping centres ordered to close. The decision was based on “precise information” of a terror attack, according to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

Meanwhile, a Dublin muslim cleric said he fears not enough is being done to crack down on extremists trying to recruit followers in this country.

Shaykh Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri has consistently attacked the version of Islam being touted by militants. He previously warned that extremists are meeting at two of Ireland’s 26 mosques and in one case a volunteer handing out anti-extremism leaflets was assaulted.

This week, the Central Bank admitted it can’t be certain if terrorists have been able to launder cash through Ireland’s massive offshore $1.2 trillion banking industry.

Four young men with links to Ireland are known to have died fighting in Syria against the Assad regime. 

Although not attached to Islamic State, it highlights how young men can be enticed into taking up arms.

One Irish Nigerian teenager has been linked to extremist groups in Syria after a series of posts on social media websites.

‘Muthenna’ described himself as Irish-Nigerian in online posts in which he defended the beheading of U.K. hostage David Haines.

Irish-based extremist Ibrahim Buisir previously featured on a United Nations watch list. Up until 2012 he had been listed as being connected to Al-Qaeda, using charity fundraisers to send cash to the group.

He is a naturalised Irish citizen who has been living here for 34 years.