A NATURALISED Irishman accused of being a jihadist recruiter with a mission to kill a cartoonist is set to admit his terror role tomorrow.
US prosecutors have revealed that Algerian-born Ali Charaf Damache is due to plead guilty to charges relating to past al-Qaeda activities when he appears before a federal court in Philadelphia.
The 53-year-old, who moved to Ireland in 2000, had previously won a battle against extradition to the States from here.
A High Court judge ruled three years ago that he was at risk of “inhuman and degrading treatment” if packed off across the Atlantic.
But he was later arrested on the same warrant during a trip to Barcelona and handed over to US authorities last July.
His appearance in a civilian court there marked a U-turn on the Trump administration’s previous pledge to try terror suspects by military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
Damache later entered not guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to support terrorists and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.
Indictment papers claimed he was a member of an Irish al-Qaeda cell that recruited men online to wage jihad in South Asia and Europe.
It was also alleged that, using the name ‘Black Flag’, he sought out light-skinned women with western passports who did not fit the traditional terrorist profile.
His targets included Colleen LaRose from Pennsylvania — who became infamous in the US as the blue-eyed, blonde-haired ‘Jihad Jane’ — and Colorado single mum Jamie Paulin-Ramirez.
According to court filings, Damache persuaded both to join him in Ireland in 2009 with promises that they would murder Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who had drawn the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s head on the body of a dog.
The plot never materialised and Paulin-Ramirez, who had married Damache on the day she landed in Ireland, and LaRose were imprisoned in the US.
Damache, who lived in Cork and Waterford, was jailed here for four years in 2013 after ringing the organiser of a Muslim anti-terror protest in Detroit and issuing a death threat.
He could now face up to 45 years in prison, but his plea change is likely to reduce his time behind bars.