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Nice attack: Frances Fitzgerald pledges to deport jihadists without trial from Republic of Ireland

By Shane Phelan

Published 18/07/2016

Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she would
Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she would "make no apology" for deporting individuals

Suspected jihadists face being expelled from the Republic of Ireland - even if the evidence against them would be deemed insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said the State had a right to protect its citizens and that she would "make no apology" for deporting individuals in cases where intelligence suggested they were supporting Islamic extremism.

Ms Fitzgerald also said that while Ireland was "not likely" to face attack, the authorities are keeping tabs on "a limited number" of suspected extremist sympathisers and need to be vigilant.

The minister said a 'lone-wolf' attack, such as last week's terror atrocity in Nice, was "always a possibility".

Her comments, in an interview with the Irish Independent, come less than a fortnight after a 52-year-old man - alleged to be the foremost Irish-based facilitator of Isil fighters - was deported to Jordan, despite claims that he had previously been tortured by security services there. Ms Fitzgerald would not comment on the case specifically.

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However, she said such deportations were justified in order to protect Irish citizens.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the man who mowed through a crowd with a truck and killed 84 Bastille Day revellers in Nice had phoned home just hours earlier and sent a picture of himself laughing from the French city.

The revelation was made by his brother, as 18 more victims continued to fight for their lives.

The attack by delivery man Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel plunged France into new grief and fear, just eight months after jihadists killed 130 in Paris.

Forensics officers and policemen look for evidence near a truck on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 15, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Forensics officers and policemen look for evidence near a truck on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 15, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Killer: Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel
A sign reading "Liberty, equality, fraternity, let us unite against barbarism" is placed on July 15, 2016 at a makeshift memorial near the site in Nice where a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVATBORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images
A woman places flowers on July 15, 2016 near the site in Nice where a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVATBORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A woman looks at a truck stand guarded by the police on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 15, 2016, hours after it drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display. An attack in Nice where a man rammed a truck into a crowd of people left 84 dead and another 18 in a "critical condition", interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said Friday. An unidentified gunman barrelled the truck two kilometres (1.3 miles) through a crowd that had been enjoying a fireworks display for France's national day before being shot dead by police. / AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULATANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images
People stand on July 15, 2016 in front of flowers and candles placed near the site in Nice where a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVATBORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images
Forensic police work on the scene of a truck attack in Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The truck which slammed into revelers late Thursday is seen at the site of the attack in Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Forensic officers stands near a truck with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
The truck which slammed into revelers late Thursday, July 14, is seen near the site of an attack in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A forensic officer stands near a van with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. At least 80 people were killed before police killed the driver, authorities said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Forensic officers at the scene of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Twitter feed video grab courtesy of @harp_detectives of people running away after dozens of people are believed to have been killed when a lorry ploughed into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice. Photo credit: @harp_detectives/PA Wire
Fire department ambulances and vehicles are parked near the scene of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Christian Alminana)
Police officers, firefighters and rescue workers are seen at the site of an attack on July 15, 2016, after a truck drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Emergency services vehicles work on the scene after a truck, left, plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice, France, Thursday, July 14, 2016. (Sasha Goldsmith via AP)
Authorities investigate a truck after it plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice, France, Thursday, July 14, 2016. (Sasha Goldsmith via AP)
Authorities investigate a truck after it plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice, France, Thursday, July 14, 2016. (Sasha Goldsmith via AP)
Ambulances line up near the scene of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A man runs near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Police officers seal off the area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Ciaran Fahey)
Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers stand near a van, with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and rescue workers arrive at the scene of an attack on July 14, 2016, after a van ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers stand near a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and firefighters arrive near the site of an attack on July 14, 2016, after a van ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers stand near a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers speak with a soldier after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
A soldier stands guard near the site of an attack in the French Riviera town of Nice, after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
A man walks with his hands up as police officers carry out checks on people in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display on July 14, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Valery HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

And Turkey intensified its crackdown in the wake of Friday's failed coup, detaining 6,000 people - as world leaders and opposition politicians raised concerns that Recep Tayyip Erdogan would use the coup attempt as a pretext to consolidate his power.

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