Man jailed for fundraising for ISIS in Waterford

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@waterfordlive.ie

A man with a past address at O'Connell Street in Waterford has been jailed for terrorism offences at Waterford Circuit Court, RTE News has reported

26-year-old Hasan Bal, with a former address at O'Connell Street in Waterford, was sentenced in a landmark case for two separate offences at Waterford Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon.

The man previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully transferring €400 to another man in Bosnia Herzegovinia in 2015. The second offence related to contact he had made with an intermediary in London in an attempt to raise funds in support of ISIS.

Bal was found out after he made contact with an undercover reporter from the Daily Mail in London. The reporter pretended he wanted to raise money for the so-called Islamic State, RTE reported on Thursday.

Hasan Bal was operating out of Waterford at the time and using a false online name, the court heard. He was eventually arrested during a sting operation involving a hand-over of money in London. He was said to have been in contact with high ranking members of ISIS.

He has been in custody since the summer of 2017.

The court also heard that there is no Jihadi group in Waterford and the Muslim community in the city had no idea what was going on, according to RTE's report. 

Bal could have been jailed for a maximum of 20 years in what was the first case of its kind in Ireland, but instead the judge handed down two separate sentences, one of three years and the other of four and a half years, for the offences.

A total of three years out of the total seven and a half were suspended by the judge. The convicted man will have to partake in counselling as part of the conditions attached to his partially suspended sentence. 

The judge expressed hope he could integrate into society upon his release, adding that the vast majority of muslims do not share the views espoused by Mr Bal or ISIS.

You can read the full court report on RTE by clicking here.

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