Monday 20 May 2019

CAB to probe Irish extremists - Fitzgerald

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald TD. Picture: Damien Eagers
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald TD. Picture: Damien Eagers

Niall O'Connor and Paul Williams

IRISH-based extremists found to be channelling funds to the terror group Islamic State face the prospect of being investigated by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she believes that CAB detectives should "follow the money", and that legislation is already in place to allow the unit to investigate the financing of terrorism by Irish citizens.

Ms Fitzgerald was responding to a 'Sunday Independent' report which stated that an individual living in South Dublin is believed to be funding terrorists linked to Islamic State.

"If there is clear evidence in relation to anybody here supporting terrorism through their financial activity, clearly that is, and will be dealt with," Ms Fitzgerald told Fianna Fail's Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins.

"If the gardai have the evidence, they will prosecute, they will follow up, they will monitor," she added.

It was revealed this week that a small number of Irish-based Muslim extremists have been playing a key role in providing logistical and financial support to international terror groups, especially Islamic State.

The central group, consisting of about 12 radicals, are suspected of supporting jihadi fighters from Britain and mainland Europe, and supplying them with fake documentation, including false passports.

Mr Collins, a TD for Limerick, said it is essential that An Garda Siochana takes action if the individual in question is suspected of funding terrorist activities.

According to the minister, some 25-30 Irish citizens have travelled to the conflict zones in the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprising.

Conflict

Three of these individuals have died in conflicts, she told the Dail.

Ms Fitzgerald also said that gardai are closely monitoring the activities of a small number of individuals here who support extremism and would try to "facilitate it".

However, she says she has been advised that there is no "specific information" to suggest a terrorist threat to Ireland.

"It is estimated that between 25-30 Irish citizens have travelled to the conflict zones since the commencement of the Arab Spring," she said.

"A number of individuals have returned to Ireland from the conflict zones. There are also a small number of people based here who support extremism and try to facilitate it," she added.

Irish Independent

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