On Monday evening, Dec 18, 2006, the Irish State-owned RTE 1 TV, on its flagship current affairs investigative program, "Prime Time", after the main 9-9.30 PM evening news, broadcast a 1-hour report on the Jihadi risk within Ireland. It quoted from intelligence reports, both police [Garda ] and military [G-2] sources, and interviewed on-air recently retired US experts, such as John Brennan, 2004-05 chief of their National Counter-Terrorism Center, and Dan Coleman, ex-FBI OBL Unit, as well as many Muslim figures in Ireland. The program research seemed very thorough, balanced and comprehensive in range, and led substantial weight to the extremely disturbing conclusions which emerged.
Prime Time estalished five central and troubling issues.
Firstly, there is a Jihadi propaganda operation active in Ireland.
Secondly, there is, within the Muslim community in Ireland, high-level sympathy for Jihad.
Thirdly, there is a small [15%-19%] element in this community, which supports such terror.
Fourthly, several active Jihadi terrorists have been identified with Irish links.
Fifthly, a significant Al-Qaida figure is based in Dublin for some 25 years, and has acquired Irish citizenship.
Re 1, a British-born Pakistani Iman, Ismail Kotwal, here for 9 years, runs a Madrasa in Aungier Street, Dublin 2, in the South Inner City, and also a Mosque in the Black Pitts area of that quarter. He regards the Taliban "as a model", and holds OBL [Osama Bun Ladin] as "a good and god-fearing man", who also resembles the Prophet. Kotwal, as a Deobandi, refuses to be photographed, and is one of the recently-formed 14-strong Council of Imans, which although it includes one Shia, is Sunni-dominated. The main bastion of Sunni presence is the "Islamic Cultural Centre" at the South Dublin suburb of Clonskeagh, which has enjoyed significant Gulf funding. This Centre acts as the secretariat for Qaradawi's European Fatwa Council - he notoriously supports suicide-bombing, has been embraced by London's hard-left Mayor Ken Livingstone, and is a Gulf-based Egyptian and a major Muslim Brotherhood figure.
The encouraging aspect is that two young students walked out of a religion class given by Kotwal, in response to his pro-OBL propaganda, and their fathers, on-air, fully supported their sons. But the [Roman Catholic Church-affiliated] De La Salle School in Churchtown, Dublin, took no action. The record in Germany from 1932 of Church resistance to the Nazis is notoriously patchy - to put it very mildly. A few brave martyrs, some collaborators, but most silent.
Re 2, this Centre's Dawa [faith propoaganda] is directed by the very fluent Ali Selim, who, on-air, said he "did not know OBL", and so could neither respect nor disrespect him. And I also never met the late Herr Hitler, or the late Comrade Marshal Stalin, or the late Chairman Mao, or OBL, or Pol Pot, but I have no problem in reaching, and stating, a clear answer to the direct question of whether I respect such mass, serial murderers. We in Ireland are far too well used to such insulting equivocation from our native apologists for terror since 1970, to fall for that trick in 2006.
Re 3, an opinion poll showed that 15% overall, but 19% of those 15-26 years, sympathised with OBL. Details will be published in the daily "Irish Independent". This level is broadly similar to several UK surveys, and suggest a pro-terror base of at least 8,000 in Ireland, quite enough to generate scores of active terrorists, and hundreds of active auxiliaries.
Re 4, one Jihadi terrorist killed in Iraq with Irish links, was Abu Hafs al-Libi, closely linked to Zarqawi himself. Irish passports have also been found in Jihadi circles abroad - the Shia Iman suggested maybe 11 - although some may not belong to Irish citizens, but have been stolen or forged. Three other major Jihadi terrorists were named. One, who lived in Lucan, 10 miles West of the City Centre, is now serving 6 years in prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Another, an Algerian, Hamid H, has left Ireland, while a third, who lived in Enfield, County Meath, a town in the Greater Dublin commuter belt, is now in jail in Tunisia. These four Sunni men were linked to the Clonskeagh Mosque, and to the next character.
Re 5, a naturalised Irish citizen with 5 children, here for some 25 years, Ibrahim Buisir, balding, neatly- bearded, and bespectacled, fluent in English, was identified as a major player. He has worked here as a slaughter-house operative and as a journalist. He heads an NGO with some 40 offices, "Islamic-African Relief Agency", one in Dublin, and linked to "Mercy International", and to the "MK" [Maktab has had its US assetts frozen]. He has contacts with Jihadi figures across Europe, such as Spain, Italy, Germany, as well as [since 1994-5] with East African Jihadi elements, including OBL's private secretary, Wadi el-Haj. 224 were murdered in the Embassy bombings by Al-Qaida elements.
Jack Cloonan, ex-FBI [1976-2002] came to Dublin to confer with his Irish colleagues on the common Jihadi threat. Buisir was quoted as using 15 Bank Accounts for his operations. Our Garda [police] questioned Buisir for 3 days in their South Inner City "A" District HQ in Kevin Street, but he has not been charged. He is said to be under physical and electronic surveillance by our Garda Special Branch.
Interestingly, both a moderate Sunni, Sheikh Dr, Satardien, and the Shia Iman from Milltown, Dublin Mosque, both stated on-air, that there was a Jihadi presence, and influence, in Ireland.
I will return to this serious topic - this TV program may prove to be a watershed in ending the denial and toleration in Ireland regarding sinister conspirators in our midst, or their apologists.
We have all seen what happens when this kind of threat is ignored. Decent Muslims and all democrats, must stand together to expose, confront and rout the common Jihadi threat, be it their logistical and financial tools, or their explosives stores, or their ideology and propaganda.