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Legal bid to deport man said to be 'main recruiter for Isis in Republic'

By Dearbhail McDonald

Published 29/12/2015

The Irish Government has taken unprecedented action to deport a man it claims is Islamic State's
The Irish Government has taken unprecedented action to deport a man it claims is Islamic State's "main recruiter" of extremists in the Republic

The Irish Government has taken unprecedented action to deport a man it claims is Islamic State's "main recruiter" of extremists in the Republic.

The married father-of-four, who has lived in Ireland since 2000 — and was previously granted residency on the basis of his Irish-born son — was yesterday described as “the foremost organiser and facilitator of travel by extremists prepared to undertake violent action” on behalf of Islamic State (IS).

The man denies the allegations and says he is a bona fide refugee who faces inhuman and degrading treatment, torture — or even “fatal consequences” — if returned to a Middle Eastern country.

However, a barrister for the Irish Department of Justice, told the High Court in Dublin yesterday that the man is involved with a “nihilistic organisation (IS) that poses an existential threat to this State and to other states”. 

In court papers, a senior department of justice official said that based on intelligence amassed by gardai and counterparts in other jurisdictions, the State believes the man is “consulted by and gives directions to senior, violent extremist leaders outside of Ireland”.

Senior Counsel Remy Farrell told High Court judge Ms Justice Carmel Stewart that the man is the “focal point” in the Republic for Islamic extremist recruitment, adding that the government has a duty to protect citizens both inside and outside its borders.

Mr Farrell said he did not believe that an application such as this — to deport a person on the basis of a “patent” threat to national security — had been made in the past.

Yesterday, Judge Stewart lifted the injunction preventing the deportation from being carried out, taking into account the “very serious” information the State had put before the court about the man and his alleged activities.

Judge Stewart said the question for the court was where the greater injustice lay in the case — maintaining or lifting the injunction against the deportation order which the man secured on December 21, the last day of the legal term.

Judge Stewart said that the issue of a threat to national security was something which the court is entitled to take into account. The judge also said she did not accept that there had been any delay by the State in formally issuing a deportation order last November.

The man, whose identity cannot be revealed under court order, is expected to appeal the ruling to the Court of Appeal.

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