Wednesday 22 November 2017

'How can I tell my daughter her father was a jihadi killer?' - woman who married London Bridge terrorist in Dublin

Charisse Ann O'Leary Picture: Facebook
Charisse Ann O'Leary Picture: Facebook
Charisse O'Leary married London Bridge terrorist Rachid Redouane in Dublin in 2012
Rachid Redouane had previously been refused asylum in the UK in 2009 (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Charisse O'Leary, the former wife of London Bridge terrorist Rachid Redouane, has said she is "deeply shocked, saddened and numbed" by his actions.

"My thoughts and efforts now are with trying to bring up my daughter with the knowledge that someday I will have to try and explain to her why her father did what he did," she said.

Redouane was one of three terrorists who ploughed a rented van into pedestrians on London Bridge shortly after 10pm last Saturday night.

Redouane, Khuram Shazad Butt and Youssef Zaghba then carried out a number of stab attacks in the nearby Borough Market area.

Eight people were killed in the attack and almost 50 people injured.

Police shot dead all three men within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call.

Ms O'Leary married Redouane in Ireland in 2012 and lived with him in Rathmines, Dublin 6.

The pair returned to Ireland in 2016 before leaving again in March of that year, records show.

Ms O'Leary, split with Redouane later and publicly denounced the Manchester suicide bombing on Facebook, was born in July 1978.

In a statement today Ms O'Leary said:

"My heartfelt thoughts go out to all those murdered or injured in the events of 3rd June 2017.

"I am deeply shocked, saddened and numbed by the actions of my ex partner who has killed and injured so many innocent people.

"Since discovering that it was Rachid that was responsible I have shed many tears for the people caught up in this horrific incident.

"Rachid and I have been separated for six months. We have a beautiful young daughter, that for the last six months has been our only bond and reason for contact.

"My thoughts and efforts now are with trying to bring up my daughter with the knowledge that someday I will have to try and explain to her why her father did what he did.

"I wish to make it absolutely clear, so there can be no doubt, I condemn his actions and do not support the beliefs he held that led to him committing this atrocity."

The couple had one child together. Their marriage took place in the Registrar's Office at Sir Patrick Duns Hospital on Lower Grand Canal Street in Dublin 2, witnessed by Ms O'Leary's mother and an unknown man named Khalil Chadili.

The marriage to Ms O'Leary, a UK citizen, gave him an EU travel permit allowing him entry to the UK despite the fact he was refused asylum there in 2009.

The revelation has prompted claims Ireland is being used by jihadis as a back door into Britain.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the details of Redouane's time in Ireland.

However, gardaí have made it clear that there is no link to terrorism in Ireland and there is no evidence he was radicalised here.

"The indications at this time are that this individual lived in this country for a short period of time, going through a normal process of immigration," Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said during an press conference today.

"Thereafter, he left and went with his wife, who is a UK citizen, to the UK and we are satisfied with the inquiries we have made at this time, that there is no link to terrorism in this country.

"We are also satisfied from the indications from our partners (in the UK) that that is also the case."

Two people believed to have documents linked to the killer have been arrested.

One Garda source said there is no knowledge of Redouane being involved with other international terror suspects who have been under surveillance in Ireland, and that he lived an apparently normal life during his time in Dublin.

But the source added that investigators were "still shaking the tree".

Additional reporting by Press Association

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