Newly released papers seized at Bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad suggest that American-born al-Qa’ida operative Adam Gadahn considered Irish people to be particularly receptive for Islam. In a letter to an unknown recipient of January 2011, he suggested issuing a message specifically addressing the Irish people, inviting them to convert to Islam. Irish sympathies for the Palestinian cause, a growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, following the revelation of clerical child abuse, and the economic crisis, Gadahn identifies as grounds for a possible openness of the Irish people to Islam. As “the most religious in atheist Europe”, they would rather adopt another religion than embracing secularism, he argues.

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