Could Ireland be a target for terrorists
The Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has stated that although she admits that “terrorism has no boundaries” from the kind of attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, however, she also says there is no intelligence to suggest Ireland is any sort of specific target at present, a view echoed by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney who confirmed that Ireland’s national security committee met on Saturday in the wake of the Paris attack to assess the threat to Ireland, concluding the risk had not changed and remained low.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Charlie Flanagan, admitted that a “small number” of people within Ireland are being actively monitored for potential links to extremist and terrorist activity.
In a statement, An Garda Síochána said the threat level in this jurisdiction remains unchanged, describing it as one where “an attack is possible but not likely”.
Gardaí say the current threat assessment will be kept under review and all appropriate measures will be taken in dealing with any threats.
The Garda statement in full reads:
“Since the tragic events in Paris on Friday evening, An Garda Síochána have been in close contact with our French and other close Security partners to assess any implications for Ireland flowing from these events. Additionally, there is a Garda Liaison Officer attached to the Irish Embassy in Paris who has direct contact with the French authorities.
“Since these events, An Garda Síochána has conducted an intelligence assessment review and on Saturday the Commissioner briefed the National Security Committee and the Minister for Justice and Equality of our threat assessment. As indicated by the Minister for Justice & Equality yesterday, the threat level in this jurisdiction remains unchanged and the threat environment in this jurisdiction at the moment can be described as one where ‘an attack is possible but not likely’.
“Notwithstanding the current threat assessment, An Garda Síochána will keep under review the ongoing issues in France and elsewhere and will ensure that Garda resources are deployed in a manner commensurate with the current security situation.
“The level of threat will be kept under constant review by An Garda Síochána in light of the ongoing developments. All appropriate measures will be taken in dealing with any threats however, for security reasons it is not appropriate to outline the detail of our operational responses.
“Of course, this is an international problem and a key element in dealing with these threats is good intelligence sharing internationally. An Garda Síochána co-operates very closely with our EU and other international security and intelligence counterparts in responding to these threats.”
Previously Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council offered to grill refugees entering Ireland in order to root out possible Islamic State extremists. Ireland will take in about 4,000 refugees desperately fleeing the Syrian civil war. However, there are concerns IS terrorists are being smuggled across the Mediterranean hidden among the refugees.
While Shaykh Umar said Ireland is unlikely to be invaded by radicals, he called on the government to establish a panel to screen refugees