Belfast Telegraph

Security 'hardened' at air and sea ports after Paris attacks

Security at Northern Ireland's air and sea ports has been "hardened" following the Paris attacks, the country's senior officer said.

An Islamic State (IS) jihadi has been named as the alleged ringleader of the plot that saw 129 people murdered in coordinated shootings and bombings in the French capital on Friday.

Prime MInister David Cameron has revealed that UK intelligence and security agencies had thwarted seven smaller-scale attacks over recent months - one more than had previously been known about.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chief constable George Hamilton said: "We have seen several actions coming out of the civil coordinating function...hardening up our monitoring of sea and airports."

He told a meeting of politicians from the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Cheltenham the service was well plugged into UK-wide measures to protect borders.

Meanwhile, Ireland's police chief has urged vigilance following the Paris attacks.

The Republic of Ireland's counter-terrorism strategies are appropriate to the level of threat, Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan added. Police liaison officers are in Irish embassies around the world.

Ms O'Sullivan said: "We keep our assessments under constant review and keep our counter-terrorism strategies commensurate with that level of threat but unfortunately it can happen any place, any time and I think vigilance, without striking fear into the heart of the community, is really important."

Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been identified as the "presumed" mastermind in the Paris plot.

He was also linked by officials to previous foiled attacks, including the attempted strike on a high-speed train in August which was stopped when passengers overpowered a gunman. Abaaoud is also said to have recruited his 13-year-old brother to join him in Syria and become one of IS's youngest fighters.


From Belfast Telegraph