Couple held as '€100k raised for jihadis' groups'
- Irish man and British woman in custody
- Gardaí probed fundraising for Islamic terrorists
- Gardaí investigating possible link to gang raising money online
An Irish man and a British woman are in Garda custody after a probe into fund-raising for Islamic terrorists that began more than a year ago and could have earned up to €100,000.
Gardaí believe a gang of jihadi sympathisers were using the internet to raise money from other supporters in several countries for international terrorists, and are investigating whether that gang had any links to Ireland.
The arrests took place shortly before 10am yesterday at a rented apartment in the centre of Waterford city.
The male and female suspects, who were living in the property, are both in their 20s.
The full extent of the money-gathering scheme has not yet been established but senior officers say it may have involved up to €100,000.
It followed a detailed investigation involving Garda Special Branch and local units in Waterford division.
Heavily armed members of the Emergency Response Unit and the Regional Support Unit were involved in the raid.
Forensic experts from the Garda Technical Bureau carried out an extensive search of the apartment on foot of a warrant.
The Irishman has previously been arrested but was released without charge.
The two were taken to Waterford garda station for questioning under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, and can be held without charge for up to 24 hours.
A Garda spokesman said the arrests were part of an ongoing intelligence-led operation into suspected terrorist activity.
Gardaí seized mobile phones and computers to examine electronic traffic between the suspects and a number of others who emerged during their inquiries. Officers are looking specifically at a number of financial transactions as they follow the money trail.
It is understood that several payments of money in sums of around €400 to €500 have already been pinpointed by investigators.
Some of the figures based overseas were regarded by police in their own countries as Islamic fundamentalist sympathisers.
Gardaí are also examining whether any of the transactions were linked to money laundering and if the suspects were connected to attempts to recruit members to Isil or other logistical activities.
In 2004 a US-born woman, known as Jihad Jane, who visited Waterford to plot a botched al-Qa'ida terror attack, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Colleen LaRose plotted to kill a Swedish artist who had depicted the prophet Mohammed.