Jihad Jane’s Irish connection: Whatever happened to the Waterford Seven?

Last March, as American investigators unveiled Colleen La Rose, aka “Jihad Jane”, seven people were arrested in Ireland in connection with the case. The story, featuring blonde, blue-eyed all-Americans and Al Qaeda plots, got worldwide coverage.

Reports at the time quoted unnamed security sources saying the seven were suspected of involvement in an international plot to assassinate Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist who drew a picture portraying the prophet Mohammed as a dog.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, dubbed “Jihad Jamie”, an American national and one of those arrested, was later deported to the USA on Good Friday 2010. It was a quiet news weekend, with skeleton staffs at many outlets because of the Easter holiday, and the story was barely reported.

Photo: Garda on patrol
Garda on patrol. © Faduda

Of the seven arrested, only two, Algerian Ali Charafe Damache and Abdul-Salam Mansour Kahalil Jahani from Libya, were charged.

On 15 March 2010, while the taoiseach was in America for St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the two men were brought before a special late night sitting of Waterford district court.

Damache (44) was charged with sending a menacing text message while Al-Jehani was charged with an immigration offence. Both men were remanded in custody.

WLR fm reported that Damache “chanted Muslim slogans” as he was brought into the courthouse. Though it is doubtful any WLR reporter speaks Arabic, Damanche could simply have been praying.

Jahani (32) of 74 Johnstown, Waterford, was charged with an immigration offence after allegedly giving a false name, and accused of presenting false documentation under the Immigration Act 2004.

Damache’s barrister recently informed the circuit court in Waterford that he is seeking judicial review of his case in the High Court. His case is listed for mention before the High Court next Thursday.

Jahani’s case was completed before the Waterford district court on 19 March 2010,. He was convicted and received a three month senence and a €1500 fine. An appeal was lodged, and apparently later dropped.

Curiously, there appears to be no mention in any source of charges other than those above, despite the media furore at the time over international assassination plots which received worldwide coverage.