Ali Charaf Damache as he arrives at the courthouse in Waterford in March 2010 PETER MORRISON/AP/Press Association Images
Documentary on One

RTÉ documentary to shed new light on Waterford link to 'Jihad Jane' plot

The alleged plot to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist for his controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammed has an Irish link that will be explored in the radio documentary this Saturday.

A DOCUMENTARY BEING aired on RTÉ Radio One this Saturday promises to shed new light on the so-called ‘Jihad Jane’ plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist over his controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammed.

Echo Chamber: The Story of Jihad Jane tells the story of the two American women, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez and Colleen LaRose,  and one Irish citizen, Algerian-born Ali Charafe Damache, who were among a number of people  arrested in Waterford in March 2010.

They were arrested over accusations of being involved in a plot to assassinate Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist who provoked worldwide controversy in 2007 for his depiction of the Prophet Muhammed as a dog.

RTÉ says the documentary will tell how Ramirez, La Rose and Damache – who has lived in Ireland for over a decade – stayed for a little over a month in a small, one-bed apartment above a Chinese restaurant in Waterford prior to their arrest by gardaí in March 2010.

US prosecutors claim that Damache made contact with La Rose, a Pennsylvanian woman who called herself ‘Jihad Jane’ in internet chat forums where she had met Damache, who used the username ‘Theblackflag’.

La Rose and Ramirez, who married Damache on the day she arrived in Ireland in September 2009, have already pleaded guilty to a range of terrorism charges while Damache was the subject of an extradition hearing at the High Court in Dublin in February.

The documentary will hear from La Rose’s boyfriend Kurt Gorman, Vilks, the family and Waterford-based solicitor of Ramirez, and Rusty Shackleforth who was the man who first alerted US authorities to ‘Jihad Jane’.

Former friends of Damache, who were arrested with him in March 2010, are also interviewed for the documentary.

While the Waterford-based solicitor, Brian Chesser, speaks abut how uncomfortable he was with the way US authorities returned Ramirez to the States to face charges.

The documentary is produced by Ciaran Cassidy and narrated by the actor Stephen Rea.

Echo Chamber: The Story of Jihad Jane will air as part of the Documentary on One series on RTÉ Radio One this Saturday, 13 April at 6pm and is available as a download here from Friday.

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