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Garda Special Detective Unit carrying out surveillance operations on suspected ISIS threats

Officers are aware of a number of business fronts they suspect are laundering money for Islamic State jihadists.

Image: RollingNews.ie

MEMBERS OF THE garda Special Detective Unit (SDU) are carrying out a number of surveillance operations on over 20 people they believe to be a potential threat to Ireland.

Most of those under investigation live on the south side of Dublin and in the capital’s inner city areas. However, members of the SDU are now working in areas of the south-east as well as in rural regions in Galway and Mayo.

Many of those who are being watched are known to be Islamic State sympathisers while some are suspected of laundering money through a number of legitimate looking businesses.

Only a handful would be on the radar for launching any sort of terror attack. Gardaí believe that an attack is unlikely on Ireland but that it is still possible. According to gardaí, it would more than likely come in the form of a ‘lone wolf’ style attack, something which is almost impossible to police.

There is no suggestion that any of those under investigation are recent refugees taken in from Syria. Some would be UK citizens or those with EU passports.

Garda preparation for any potential attack has come under the spotlight in recent weeks. At the Garda Representative Association delegate meeting in Galway last month, Cavan-Monaghan Garda James Morrisroe said an attack similar to what happened in Sweden earlier this year is possible.

He said:

Sweden is a neutral country, and they recently had a terrorist attack in Stockholm. If they’re subject to terrorist attacks, there is no reason why it can’t occur in a big city in Ireland.

Stockholm Attack Aftermath - Sweden People gather at a makeshift memorial to commemorate the victims a terror attack near the site where a truck drove into a department store in Stockholm, Sweden. Source: Utrecht Robin/ABACAPRESS.COM

In the aftermath of the Sweden attack, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called a security meeting to address potential failings in our security system.

Kenny said the gardaí are monitoring a small number of individuals “who do not have this country’s interests at heart”.

The Taoiseach was answering questions in the Dáil late last month about what Ireland’s national emergency management plan is in the case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

These are things that we cannot be distant from. We are a non-aligned, non-aggressive country and though the threat is always present, it is not at a high level in Ireland and we try to keep it that way.

In January, it emerged how an additional €55 million has been allocated to specifically address the threat of international terrorism.

While that figure is being disputed by some members of the force, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that the money will be used so specialist garda units can receive the training required. The money would also be used to procure more equipment.

Fitzgerald said that Ireland is “not immune” to the threat of terrorism but that an attack was “unlikely”.

She said: “The current assessment of the threat is that while an international terrorist attack on Ireland is possible, it is not considered likely. Nor is there at present any specific information that an attack on Ireland is planned.”

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Read: Gardaí are monitoring a small number of individuals ’who do not have this country’s interests at heart’ >

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