Algerian-born Irish citizen had planned for al-Qaeda training camp, court told

If convicted man faces potential sentence of 45 years

Ali  Damache: is wanted in the US to face charges relating to the conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.   Photograph: Collins/Courts

Ali Damache: is wanted in the US to face charges relating to the conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism. Photograph: Collins/Courts

 

An Algerian-born Irish citizen, who is wanted in the United States on international terrorism charges, planned for a group to train in explosives with Al-Qaeda to support terrorist attacks against US and European citizens, the High Court has heard.

Ali Charaf Damache (48), who has been living in Ireland for a decade, is wanted in the US to face charges relating to the conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism. If convicted, Mr Damache faces a potential sentence of 45 years in prison.

Remy Farrell SC, today opened extradition proceedings against Mr Damache at the High Court in Dublin. He said the indictment, returned in Pennsylvania, alleged that Mr Damache made contact over the internet with American woman Colleen LaRose – who used the online name “Jihad Jane” – telling her he was a devout jihadist living in Ireland and was interested in travelling to Pakistan to fight against the US and others.

Mr Farrell said it was alleged that Mr Damache planned for a small group to travel to an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, get explosives training and then return to Europe to support attacks on targets that would kill US and European citizens. It is alleged that Mr Damache co-ordinated LaRose’s departure from the US and her accommodation in the Netherlands and gave her spiritual guidance. She later flew to Ireland.

LaRose was arrested in October 2009, when she admitted her involvement in a plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who sparked an international controversy by depicting the Prophet Mohammed on the head of a dog.

The case was adjourned until today, when it is anticipated an application for leave to seek judicial review will be made.

Mr Justice John Edwards earlier dismissed an application to have those proceedings, which seek to challenge the DPP’s decision not to prosecute Mr Damache in Ireland for the offences, heard in a different court.