The Sunday Independent can reveal for the first time today that it could have been Dublin, not London, that was hit by an Islamic terror attack.
Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane, who together with a third accomplice, were shot dead by police during the London Bridge attack carried out reconnaissance two years ago on a number of high-profile locations in Dublin that they had identified as potential targets.
Butt (27) and 31-year-old Redouane, who was married to an Irish woman and lived in Dublin for a number of years, actively discussed carrying out at an attack in the capital according to reliable sources, including an Irish woman who became radicalised after converting to Islam.
At that time the two jihadists were under the strong influence of a 33-year-old Pakistani-born UK citizen named ‘Raza’ who operated an internet fraud scheme targeting Irish companies from an address in Santry, north Dublin.
The scam was designed to raise hard cash to fund logistical support for jihadists in the form of transport and false documentation including passports through a network of Irish-based Isis sympathisers.
The Sunday Independent understands that the Garda’s Counter Terrorism International (CTI) unit has now established that Butt and Redouane stayed at the Santry address with ‘Raza’ on several occasions up to two years ago.
The Pakistani-born UK citizen is still on MI5 and Scotland Yard’s most-wanted list of suspects thought to have orchestrated the London Bridge atrocity carried out by Butt, Redouane and 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba.
The shadowy figure is suspected of radicalising young Muslims for Isis and orchestrating similar internet rackets – known as invoice redirection fraud – in the UK.
The Sunday Independent can reveal that ‘Raza’ is also wanted by gardai in connection with a €2.8m internet fraud from an Irish company last year.
The suspected terror chief registered a company at an address in an industrial park in Santry which was then used to set up a bank account through which the money was to be transferred to other hidden accounts in the UK.