Sunday 24 September 2017

Man in court on terrorism cash charge

'Jonathan McCarthy (26) crept past his wife Tina, who sat in the public seating area of Limerick District Court, opened the door of the courtroom, and ran' (stock photo)
'Jonathan McCarthy (26) crept past his wife Tina, who sat in the public seating area of Limerick District Court, opened the door of the courtroom, and ran' (stock photo)
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A young man has been charged with acting to support a foreign terrorist organisation.

Hassan Bal (25) was arrested at an address off O'Connell Street in Waterford shortly before 10am on Thursday and brought yesterday before Judge Kevin Staunton at Waterford District Court.

The two charges are brought contrary to the Criminal Justice - Terrorist Offences Act, 2005.

Detective Inspector Anthony Pettit and Detective Sergeant Donal Donohue said that, after being arrested, cautioned and charged, Mr Bal made no reply when the two charges were put to him.

He was questioned overnight at Waterford garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Mr Bal appeared in court flanked by two gardaí and wearing slacks, a charcoal grey T-shirt and a black jacket. He did not speak during the brief hearing. He was born in the UK but has been resident in Ireland for more than a decade. He holds both Irish and UK passports.

Mr Bal, who is married, was training to be an electrician.

The two charges relate to dates of October 2 and October 23, 2015. It is understood the sums allegedly involved are in the hundreds of euro.

Inspector Anthony Dineen said the State was applying for Mr Bal to be remanded in custody.

Defence solicitor Pat Newell said he was reserving his position in respect of bail for his client.

Judge Staunton remanded Mr Bal in custody to appear again before Waterford District Court next Tuesday.

The charges followed a major search in Waterford on Thursday by gardaí after a lengthy intelligence-led operation.

It is understood the garda operation was supported by intelligence supplied by overseas security agencies, including those in the UK and US. It focused on the collection and distribution of funds which, it feared, could have been intended for radical Islamic groups.

Irish Independent

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