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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Rachid Redouane
dark web

Gardaí investigate whether people are using 'dark web' to smuggle weapons into Ireland

Security around ports and airports have been heightened in recent weeks.

MEMBERS OF THE gardaí and Revenue are carrying out detailed surveillance on Ireland’s ports as well as airports in a bid to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the country.

A number of people who would be considered extremists are believed to be attempting to smuggle firearms into Ireland by using what is known as the ‘dark web’, a hard-to-trace section of the internet where the illicit trade of weapons, drugs and child pornography takes place.

Gardaí have been informed by their colleagues in the Met Police that they are investigating a theory that the London attackers had been attempting to use the dark web to acquire weapons. The Met has seized a significant amount of electronic media which they are now examining in a bid to trace any other associates of the attackers.

The Met will probe whether or not there is any trace of evidence to suggest whether Rachid Redouane was attempting to smuggle weapons into Ireland.

Rachid Redouane had lived in the Rathmines area of south Dublin last year with his English partner who he married while here.  He was not being monitored by gardaí.

While the investigation into the potential smuggling of weapons here continues, Revenue this week revealed their new state of the art mobile x-ray scanner which will be used to detect concealed items.

The new scanner, which cost around €1.7 million, is designed “to target and confront shadow economy activity, including fiscal fraud, fuel fraud, cash and tobacco smuggling, and drug trafficking, while at the same time facilitating the free flow of legitimate trade”, according to Revenue.

Ireland’s terror threat is currently at moderate. This means that an attack is possible but not likely.

Britain London Bridge Attack AP / PA Images One of the London attackers lies motionless on the ground. AP / PA Images / PA Images

The garda Special Detective Unit (SDU) has been carrying out a number of surveillance operations on over 20 people they believe to be a potential threat to Ireland.

Areas which are being targeted include the south side of Dublin and in the capital’s inner city areas. Limerick, Wexford, Galway and Mayo are also areas considered to contain a number of Islamic State sympathisers.

Only a handful would be on the radar for launching any sort of terror attack. 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.

Read: Ex-wife of London attacker who lived in Ireland says she’s focusing on her daughter >

Read: London attack: Men ‘tried to use 7.5 tonne lorry’ >

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