Sunday 25 March 2018

Irish Imam warned government about Islamic radicals two years ago but 'nothing was done'

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Rachid Redouane (top) and Khuram Shazad Butt (bottom)
Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Rachid Redouane (top) and Khuram Shazad Butt (bottom) Newsdesk Newsdesk

An Irish Imam has revealed that he warned the Irish government two years ago that extreme radicals were spreading their messages of hate in Ireland.

It has emerged that one of the men who carried out an attack in London on Saturday night married a British woman in Dublin in 2012 and lived in Rathmines.

Rachid Redouane had Irish identification on him when he carried out the atrocity with two others.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, of the Islamic centre in Blanchardstown, said two years ago the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration council launched an anti extremism declaration and guide to prevent radicalisation within the Muslim community. He said he warned at this stage about dangerous islamists spreading hate messages Ireland.

Dr Al-Qadri was invited by the European Commission to speak on this subject at a Ministerial conference.

“However, in Ireland, from the Department of Justice or from any other department I have both been contacted so far to share my views. It is proven now, two years later, unfortunately what I said was true.

“Many people have unfortunately been killed by somebody who was living in Ireland. Ireland was for him a safe haven where he was able to live and he was able to spread his ideology. We do not know so far to what extent he was able to radicalise others.”

Dr Al-Qadri said he did not know this man and he has spoken to other Moroccan men living in Dublin and they too, say they do not know him.

“It seems that this person was keeping a low profile.”

Asked did he know Khuram Butt, the other man involved in the London attack, Dr Al-Qadri said: “I don’t know him personally but his face is familiar. His face, it seems that I have seen him in Dublin but again I don’t know him personally.”

However Dr Al-Qadri said he did know of other Muslim radicals operating in Ireland.

“I know a number of other individuals that are still living in Ireland, spreading their hate narrative on social media as well as offline. These individuals must be monitored by the Department of Justice.”

He said these people need professional help and they need to be radicalised.

“If we cannot put these people behind the bars then what the state can do is give them de-radicalisation training so that they can be de-radicalised. If that is not happening and these people are free to talk and spread their very, very dangerous ideas to other Muslim youths.”

He added: “I’m afraid that these individuals themselves may not plot something because they know they are being monitored but they inspire others to commit an atrocity.”

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