Man questioned over alleged Obama remarks

 

GARDAÍ ARE questioning a man about remarks he allegedly made in a newspaper interview in which he was reported as saying he would harm US president Barack Obama if he could.

The arrested man, who is Irish but converted to Islam while living in the Middle East a number of years ago, was arrested yesterday morning at his home in Dublin’s north inner city. He is originally from the inner city.

The suspect, who is 44 years old, is reported to have told a journalist that, if he was unknown or could somehow be unrecognisable in Dublin, he would like to “do something” to Mr Obama.

He was reported as saying he would be happy if Mr Obama was killed, reportedly describing him as an enemy of Islam.

The suspect is known to gardaí for some of the extreme views he has previously expressed. He has given interviews in which he has made comments sympathising with Islamic extremists, including those engaged in terrorism.

However, The Irish Timesunderstands he is being questioned merely about his alleged comments in the article published in recent days. There is no evidence he had any intention of acting on the views ascribed to him.

The man’s alleged comments about Mr Obama come less than two weeks before the US president visits the Republic, as one of the biggest security operations in the State is being put in place.

The suspect was taken to Store Street Garda station where he was being held last night under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. He can be held for up to 72 hours without charge.