Republic of Ireland news

Irishman jailed for two-and-a-half years for providing funding to so-called Islamic State

An Irishman has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for providing funding to so-called Islamic State
John Monaghan

AN IRISHMAN has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to providing funding to the so-called Islamic State.

Waterford Circuit Court heard that it was the first time anyone had been tried and jailed under the legislation in the Republic.

Hasan Bal (26), who previously resided at O'Connell Street in Waterford, pleaded guilty to two counts of providing money to ISIS in October 2015.

In the first case, he transferred €400 to a man in the city of Brako in Bosnia Herzegovinia via the Western Union/An Post.

Three weeks later, Bal spoke on the phone to a man in London in an attempt to retrieve cash for Islamic extremists.

The case came about after an undercover journalist with the Daily Mail in London made contact with British ISIS activist Omar Hussain, pretending to want to organise funding.

Another ISIS member based in Syria, Abu Issa Amriki, put the journalist in contact with a man described as a "brother who was a fundraiser", which turned out to be Bal.

The journalist then contacted police to expose the fundraisers.

The court was also told that in April 2015, Bal attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS but was refused entry at Istanbul airport in Turkey.

Bal, who was born in Britain to a Turkish father and mother of Irish descent, came to Ireland in 2005.

He was given a four-and-a-half year sentence by Judge Eugene O'Reilly, with the final two years suspended and the sentence backdated to April last year, when he was first taken into custody.

Judge O'Kelly credited Bal, who became a father while in custody, for his early plea, his remorse and his previous good record and ordered him to engage in de-radicalisation counselling.

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