Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Terror charge man faces extradition

Ali Charafe Damache has lived in Ireland for more than 10 years

An Algerian arrested following an international probe into an alleged plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks faces extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.

Ali Charaf Damache, who has lived in Ireland for more than a decade, is wanted by authorities in Pennsylvania for conspiracy to provide material to support terrorists.

Damache was originally arrested in Waterford in March 2010 over the so-called Jihad Jane plot to murder Vilks, who controversially depicted the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.

The cartoons were printed in a newspaper in Sweden in 2007.

US investigators have also accused 47-year-old Damache, also known by his online username "Theblackflag", of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

Judge John Edwards, sitting at the High Court in Dublin, remanded him in custody until Tuesday March 5 and granted him legal aid for one lawyer. There was no application for bail and no indication if Damache intends to fight the extradition.

In indictment papers filled in October 2011, the US authorities claimed Damache made contact through the internet with Colleen LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane online. She later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder the Swedish cartoonist under the codename.

Two others - American woman Jamie Paulin Ramirez who married Damache the day she arrived in Ireland in September 2009 and Khalid Mohammed - have also pleaded guilty to a range of terrorism charges and all three await sentencing.

In March 2010 Damache was charged in Ireland with an unrelated offence of sending a message of a menacing character to an American Muslim activist and remanded in custody.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to the offence and was released from custody when his sentence was backdated, but re-arrested straight away in Waterford Circuit Court by gardai on behalf of the FBI.

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