Belfast (QNN)- A Palestinian doctor, also former chairman of the Association of Palestine Communities in Scotland, was arrested and charged over fabricated links to the New IRA.
Doctor Issam Hijjawi -Bassalat has been arrested at Heathrow Airport two weeks ago over alleged acts of terrorism in connection with a meeting in Omagh in July.
He appeared in court alongside David Jordan, who is accused of directing terrorism, belonging to a proscribed organization and two counts of preparatory acts of terrorism.
Dr Bassalat’s lawyer, Gavin Booth, told QNN that his client is in good spirits and that “faces a single count of preparatory acts of terrorism in connection with the alleged meeting in Co Tyrone”, stressing that he was entrapped by an agent who lured him to a meeting under false pretences and that the defence intend to fight the case fully.
“Mr Basslats case is that he was entrapped by a now exposed MI5 agent who asked that he come to Belfast to address a public meeting”, Booth said.
“Mr Bassalat initially refused to come to Belfast and was pestered by this person named as Dennis McFadden to come on numerous occasions”, he added. “When in Belfast this alleged agent drove him to the public meeting miles away from Belfast and when there Mr Basslat spoke about politics and the situation in Palestine.”
Dr. Bassalat used to chair the Palestinian Society in Scotland, a peaceful and democratic organization, which aims at raising awareness of the Palestinian cause.
According to The Irish News, McFadden is believed to have been an MI5 agent for over a decade. Saoradh party said that he has been in constant contact with his family and that “under the direction of his MI5 superiors, [he] set out to entrap republicans at the behest of the British government”.
“Since the entrapment case occurred this MI5 agent has contacted his family to admit what he is, sent his handlers to their doors and MI5 even attempted to kidnap them into ‘protective custody’ – which they resisted and refused”, revealed Saoradh.
Quoting District Judge Peter Magill, The BBC reported that the charges in the case, in which doctor Bassalat as well as IRA members were arrested, are very serious and that “there are indications of connections with Middle Eastern organizations also, exploration of joint ventures and exploration of attracting finance and training.
“There are also discussions in respect of discipline within the organization (and) there are discussions of terrorist acts in furtherance of the aims of at least one Middle Eastern organization.”
When asked about the Judge’s statement, Booth said that “the links are claimed to be between the PLFP and the New IRA.”
Doctor Bassalat is originally from the West Bank in Palestine. He is a well-known advocate for Palestinian rights, often speaking at public meetings and protests.