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Irish-born suicide bomber warned over radical views by mosque leader

By Patrick Kelleher

Published 07/11/2016

Radicalised: Khalid Kelly
Radicalised: Khalid Kelly

The imam of a mosque in Galway said that he tried to warn an Irish Islamic State fighter who carried out a suicide attack that his ideology was wrong.

Dubliner Terry 'Khalid' Kelly was reportedly killed as he carried out the attack near Mosul in Iraq on Friday.

Terrorist group IS claimed that Kelly - also known as Abu Usama Al-Irlandi - killed and wounded 'dozens' of Iraqi forces. However, it has since been confirmed that nobody was killed when the DIY armoured vehicle rigged with explosives was driven at Iraqui forces.

Kelly, who was radicalised while serving a jail sentence in Saudi Arabi, was previously arrested, questioned and released by Garda Special Branch officers in 2015 over concerns about an attack on Prince Charles during his May 2015 visit to Mullaghmore in Sligo.

The Imam of Galway, Ibrahim Noonan, said that he knew Khalid Kelly and met him in London with notorious Islamist extremist Anjem Choudary.

"At that time I was the national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association UK, where Khalid was taught this medieval ideology from Shaykh Umar Bukhari and Anjum Choudary. Ironically we both ended back up in Ireland 2003," Mr Noonan said.

"We met a number of times in Dublin over the years and my last discussion was about four years ago where he was trying to convince me of his medieval interpretation of jihad and how he felt we should be fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I honestly tried to show him that this ideology was wrong and such teachings were not to be found in the Qur'an or the Sunnah of the Prophet (practice).

"I feel sombre at such a waste of a life, an Irish life who was brainwashed by extremists in the UK and Ireland."

Mr Noonan said that Khalid Kelly "won't be the last Irishman to fight for Isis". "And as I have said so many times, until all the Imams stand up and explicitly say to their congregations in their mosques 'We do not support Isis, radicals or extremists' this extremism will continue to seed in the Ireland," he said.

"Again I call on all imams to come out and say we do not support extremism from any part of the Islamic world until they are brave and say this, this won't be the last Irishman who might go and fight alongside Isis.

"But you find Irish Ahmadi Muslim converts spreading the message of true Islam and the message of peace. When will the media call them to hear voices?"

Meanwhile, the imam at a Dublin mosque on the South Circular Road, Dublin has condemned the actions of Kelly.

"Of course we disagree with the actions of the Islamic State, and in our view, in our society, bombing or anything like that is prohibited," he said.

The imam said Kelly often attended his mosque and took part in services, but that he was often in the UK, where he believed he was involved with extremist factions of Islam.

Belfast Telegraph

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