Irish Islamic convert dies in Iraq attack say reports

An image of the man known as Khalid Kelly

An image of the man known as Khalid Kelly

A convert to Islam who once described himself as an “ordinary bloke” from Dublin has blown himself up in a suicide bombing in Iraq, it has been reported.

Known as Khalid Kelly, the nurse turned suicide bomber was killed after he drove an armoured truck laden with explosives at an Iraqi militia group on Friday, the Islamic State’s news agency said in a statement quoted by several leading newspapers, including the Irish Times and Reuters.

The jihadist group released a picture of the bearded Kelly, who was in his late 40s, standing in front of a vehicle and clutching a Kalashnikov rifle. It referred to him by the name Abu Osama Irelandi.

Kelly once appeared on RTE’s Late Late Show alongside controversial Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, back in 2003.

Interviewed by television host Pat Kenny, Mr Kelly described himself as “an ordinary Dublin bloke”.

“I used to drink, yeah, before I embraced Islam. I used to love drink but I don’t drink now obviously,” he said during the interview. He also described being jailed for eight months while working as a nurse in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia after being caught with alcohol, which is outlawed in the theocratic state.

He was born in Dublin and raised Catholic but took a job in a Saudi Arabian hospital in the 1990s. While serving out his sentence following his arrest in Saudi Arabia, he converted to Islam.

In the Late, Late Show interview, Kelly also spoke about the September 11th attacks as “19 Muslims who answered the cry from the Palestinians, the Iraqis, the Afghanistanis.”