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Past interviews give an insight into Irish jihadist 'Khalid Kelly'

In the past, Terry Kelly appeared on the Late Late Show, and spoke to RTÉ’s Philip Boucher Hayes.

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN trying to piece together a picture of ’Khalid Kelly’ – the Irish jihadist who reportedly blew himself up in Mosul at the weekend –  in an effort to understand the final actions of the Irishman.

Last Friday, the Islamic State organisation in Northern Iraq announced that a man called “Abu Usama al-Irelandi” had died while detonating an explosive-laden vehicle near Mosul.

Abu Usama al-Irelandi was better known as Khalid Kelly; or, to his family, as Terence Kelly, born and raised in Dublin’s Liberties.

A former nurse, married with children, it is thought that Kelly was radicalised while serving a jail sentence in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Gaelic Neoreactionary/YouTube

During an interview with Pat Kenny on the Late Late Show, Kelly explained that he travelled to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to work as a nurse. He explains that he was jailed for the possession of alcohol for eight months.

“It was tough, obviously I’ve never been to jail before and there were pretty harsh conditions.”

When asked how his interest in Islam begun, Kelly explained that he had lived in the country for three years, seeing people go into and leave Mosques, and he never had any interest in the religion.

He goes onto say that in Ireland he was handed and told to believe in the Bible, but could never believe “the mathematical impossibility that three could go into one”.

He said that when reading a leaflet and it said “Islam is the only religion acceptable to God, I got quite angry. I wasn’t practicing Christianity but I was a Christian and I thought, how could you say that?”

He said that he was drawn to Islam because in his opinion, it made more sense, it corrected mistakes that man had made, and was worth the lifestyle changes he had to make.

When asked what his family thought of his conversion to Islam, Kelly said that he tells them of his belief and why he believes it, but there is “an open truth” and no obligation on them to follow in his footsteps.

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“They are happy, and I’m happy I have peace in my mind and I have tranquility in my heart. I know what’s going to happen, I know how to live my life properly before I die.”

Drivetime’s Philip Boucher-Hayes spoke to Khalid Kelly on many occasions, and he spoke to Mary Wilson on Drivetime today about his reaction to hearing that Khalid Kelly died as a “suicide bomber”.

“I was gobsmacked, to be perfectly honest,” said Philip. “My read of the character was completely wrong or there has been a major catalysing event in his life in the course of the last year.

He was too much of a pompous and puffed up little popinjay of a character to go off and do something like this. Way, way, way too self-important a person. So I can only conclude that something major must have happened.

Kelly’s death has not independently verified but the image posted by the Islamic State linked outlet bears a strong resemblance to him.

Read: Irish jihadist ‘Khalid Kelly’ reported dead after Islamic State suicide bombing

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