Saturday 22 November 2014

Al-Qaeda “terror list” suspect offered to make tea for gardai after attacking them

Libyan Ibrahim Buisir apologised in court to officers in court

Published 12/11/2013 | 15:28

Ibrahim Buisir leaving court

A LIBYAN-BORN man, who once featured on the United Nation's al-Qaeda “terror list”, has offered to make tea for two Garda Special Detective Unit officers after he pleaded guilty to attacking them.

Ibrahim Buisir (50), who lives in south Co. Dublin was fined €600 and avoided a jail sentence when he apologised in court to the two female officers and told them: “I am sorry, next time you are at my house I will invite you in for tea”.

The father-of-six pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to assaulting Det-Gda Gillian Morris and Det-Gda Leanna Cruise, who are attached to the Special Detective Unit (SDU), the section tasked with investigating threats to the state security.

Judge Conal Gibbons heard that Buisir had been driving his ‘00-reg Skoda Octavia when he was stopped and asked to produce his driving licence which he handed over to Det-Gda Morris.

Det-Gda Leanna Cruise said she noticed that he did not have an NCT disc and the vehicle was not taxed and he was cautioned that his car would be seized under the Road Traffic Act.

His car had not been taxed for over a year and he “became aggressive and began shouting in Det-Gda Morris's face". “He aggressively pushed her causing her to step backwards to regain her footing,” said the SDU officer.

“I intervened and he did likewise, pushed me directly in my chest causing me discomfort and pain,” Det-Gda Leanna Cruise said in evidence.

Members of the public were present during the incident which occurred on January 17 last year ,at Hillview Grove, Ballinteer, Dublin 16, near Buisir's home.

The two SDU officers “retreated” to their patrol car and awaited assistance which arrived a short while later and the 50-year-old was arrested.

His 12 prior criminal convictions are mostly for road traffic offences, but also include a breach of the peace, as well as one assault which dates back to 1998.

The 50-year-old said he was sorry and that he had been suffering from medical problems when he attacked the two SDU officers. His barrister also explained that at the time, one of Buisir's sons was in Benghazi, in Libya during its revolution.

Buisir had survived throat cancer in the 1990s but now suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, his lawyer said.

He has lived in Ireland for 32 years and he told Judge Gibbons that he first came here in 1981 after learning that “the Irish people stand up to the British”. He became a naturalised citizen in 1992, and told the court that he has got into trouble “because of my political view”.

But Judge Gibbons told him to “leave politics at the door”. He described the behaviour towards the detectives as “outrageous” and warned that attacks on members emergency services warrant jail sentences before asking Buisir he had “something against gardai”.

“No,” replied the father-of-six, who also agreed that they have a difficult job.

He then added that “Libya could learn a lot from the Irish Garda”.

He said he loved Ireland and apologised for his actions but the judge told him to walk across the courtroom “and shake hands to the gardai and say you are sorry”.

Buisir, who gets a disability allowance and uses a walking stick, stepped out of the witness box, went over to the two detectives and shook their hands and while he apologised he invited them to tea at his home.

Judge Gibbons said the fine must be paid within six months or else Buisir, who was also granted free legal aid, will be jailed for 30 days.

In March this year, Buisir was convicted of engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour towards gardai and was ordered to make a contribution to charity.

He had become became aggressive after refusing to tell a SDU officer the name of a person seen using his car, in August 2, 2011.

That trial, which was also held at Dublin District Court, had heard that until last year Buisir had been on the “UN's terror list associated with al-Qaeda” and was known to the SDU.

By Tom Tuite

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