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

By Shane Phelan

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.

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.

Irish Independent

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