By Conor Kane
A “lengthy” report has been prepared by an expert on radicalisation in relation to a man who has admitted sending funds to the international terrorist group Islamic State, a court has heard.
The report on Hassan Bal (26), formerly of O’Connell Street, Waterford city, was completed on the request of his legal team and Waterford Circuit Court heard today (Thursday) that it has been exchanged between the defence and the prosecution in the case.
Hassan Bal pleaded guilty in January at the circuit court to unlawfully transferring €400, by means of an An Post/Western Union transaction, to a Stevo Maksimovic in the Bosnian city of Brako on October 2 of 2015.
This was done with him intending or knowing that the money would be used in whole or in part for the benefit of Islamic state.
He also pleaded guilty to communicating by phone with an intermediary in London on October 23 of 2015, in an attempt to collect or receive cash for Islamic State, from a person known to him as Omar Abu Azid, at an address at Geron Way, London.
Both charges are contrary to Section 13 of the Criminal Justice Act (Terrorist Offences) of 2005 and the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.
Originally from the UK, Hassan Bal moved to Ireland with his family when he was 12 years old and initially lived in Wexford before moving to Waterford in 2017. He was training to be an electrician at the time of his arrest in April of 2017 and holds an Irish passport.
Dr Daniel Koelher of the German Institute of Radicalisation and De-Radicalisation has completed a report on Hassan Bal, whose lawyers asked in January that Dr Koelher should ask him why he became “associated with such activities” and if he had since been de-radicalised.
The accused appeared in court on Thursday when his senior counsel, Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha, asked that, after discussions with the prosecution, the case could be listed for sentencing next Thursday, July 5.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly remanded Hassan Bal in custody, to appear again before the court next Thursday.