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Irish security chiefs wary of home-grown 'lone wolves'

By Tom Brady

Published 28/07/2016

Garda and Irish military intelligence units have increased their monitoring of suspected jihadi sympathisers based in the Republic of Ireland.

Senior security advisers are particularly concerned at the rise in the number of "lone wolf" strikes on mainland Europe.

For some time, officers have been convinced that the most likely threat of an international terrorist incident would emerge from a loner, who had been radicalised over the internet.

As a result, specialist sections of the Garda and the Army have been closely keeping watch on the activities of the listed suspects to determine if they have been involved in either attempting to attract fresh support from vulnerable young people now living here or encouraging others to become involved in violence.

The growing frequency of the attacks in countries like France and Germany is also being kept under review by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and other ministers.

A spokesperson for the Tanaiste said Ireland "cannot consider itself immune from the threat posed by international terrorism and extremism".

"There is no specific information in relation to any threat to Ireland from international terrorism," he said. "The level of threat is kept under constant review by An Garda Siochana, particularly in the light of ongoing developments."

A full time Garda Liaison officer based in Ireland's Embassy in Paris is liaising with French counterparts.

"Combating terrorism is a top priority for the Tanaiste and the additional €55m provided to An Garda Siochana a few weeks ago took into account the extra demands arising from measures to deal with the threat from international terrorism," the spokesperson said.

The threat level in Ireland was raised from low to moderate last year in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris.

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