Algerian in 'Jihad Jane' Case Says Irish Jail Unfit for Animals
Published: July 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM ET
DUBLIN - An Algerian man jailed in Ireland and wanted by the United States
on terrorism charges filed a damages suit against the Irish state on
Tuesday, saying his prison conditions were "not even suitable for animals".
Ali Charaf Damache is wanted by the FBI for conspiracy in a foiled
international plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist whose depiction of the
Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog caused outrage in Muslim countries.
Damache, arrested in Ireland in March 2010, said he was claiming
compensation over conditions of his detention at Cork Prison that he said
amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.
"Cork Prison is not even suitable for animals," Damache, 47, told the High
Court. "There was a television and radio (in my cell). When I practiced my
prayer they (cellmates) deliberately put the volume up (and) they put
pictures of naked women on the wall. I can't pray in a place where there are
Damache said he had been unable to wash before prayer and handling the
Koran, as his faith requires, and was usually allowed to shower and change
his underwear just once a week.
State lawyers have yet to file a response.
Also known by his online username "Black Flag", Damache is accused of
conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists - specifically, by
luring two American-born women Muslim converts to Ireland in 2009 - and
attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of terrorism.
He faces a maximum of 45 years in jail if convicted in the United States.
Extradition proceedings are due to start on September 10 in Dublin; it is
unclear how long they might take.
Colleen LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane, has
pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to conspiring with Damache to try to kill
Swedish artist Lars Vilks, whose depiction of the Prophet Mohammed with the
dog's body triggered an international wave of Muslim protests.
Damache, who has lived in Ireland for a decade, was originally arrested on a
less serious and unrelated Irish charge of sending a menacing message by
telephone to an American Muslim activist, which delayed U.S. extradition
That trial ended in February when Damache pleaded guilty to the offence. He
was sentenced him to time served and immediately released but was then
re-arrested by Irish police acting on behalf of the FBI.
(Writing by Sam Cage; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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