US Secret Service are checking out secure hotel accommodation along the Republic of Ireland-Northern Irish Border in preparation for the G8 Summit in June. The summit will be held at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland.
Hotels in the southern counties Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and Donegal are expected to host delegates during the summit. Some delegates will stay in hotels that have already been determined as suitable by security experts. Some may choose to fly into Dublin instead of Belfast.
Representatives from the governments of the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and Russia will attend the summit. Leaders such as President Barack Obama are targets for international terrorists.
US police are already in communication with the Irish police about security on the southern side of the Border during the summit. Officers from the crime and security branches of Garda Headquarters in Phoenix Park in Dublin are in regular touch with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) responsible for local protection of the international visitors.
British forces may deploy up to 2,500 officers to Northern Ireland to supplement the resident forces. PSNI officers are traveling to Britain to give specialist training on potential threats from Northern Irish terrorists.
Local threats have already started. A group who call themselves Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) which translates to “Soldiers of Ireland” or “Irish Volunteers,” claim that a beer keg bomb found abandoned on Derrylin Road, Enniskillen last weekend was intended for the Lough Erne Golf Resort, which is sixteen miles away. Police officers believe that the beer keg bomb was more likely intended for an attack on a police station in Lisnaskea also sixteen miles away.
ONH released photographs of the beer keg bomb with the caption “MK1 10KG mortar, Range 300 meter.” The following security alert lasted almost 24 hours. ONH also claimed responsibility for a failed mortar bomb attack on a police station in west Belfast in early March.
Police do not expect dissident republican groups to plan any attacks on the summit because the groups do not have the ability to penetrate the security ring around the summit. Additionally, these groups know the blacklash after targeting a world leader would force the group out of existence. However, there are concerns the groups may attempt to murder security team members before the summit and the Irish police have been requested to play a key in role in security.
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