Irish security services have confirmed that they feel there is a much greater risk of a “lone wolf” terror attack by radical Muslims than from so-called “dissident” republicans.
Sources told the Sunday Independent that they believe the radicalization of young Muslims in Ireland to be a more serious issue than those using the title of “dissident” republicans, whom they now believe are using such names to hide their criminal activities.
Some groups are using titles such as the “Real” or “Continuity” IRA in order to draw attention away from their involvement with fuel and tobacco smuggling.
Although there have been only two known arrests made in Ireland this year of those suspected of being radical Islamists, one Irish and one Eastern European, Defense Minister Simon Coveney flagged the fact that gardaí (Irish police) and defense forces are taking the threat of an attack from a radicalized young Muslim “very seriously.”
It is believed that the Irish police are working with security services from other EU countries and the United States to monitor, in particular, the threat of the “cyber radicalization of young Muslims.”
Although the Irish police and defense forces have not commented on anything of the kind in Ireland, the Sunday Independent reports that it is well known that a large amount of “cyber counter-terrorism” takes place in the country.
In the past number of weeks, several high profile figures within the Irish Muslim community have spoken out against those responsible for the “lone wolf” attacks throughout Europe. Last weekend, Irish Sunni cleric Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri described them as the "biggest blasphemers of all."
Last month, close to 300 Muslims took part in an anti-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) rally in Dublin. The “Not in my Name” march denounced the “lone wolf” attacks and aimed to show the rest of Ireland that the attacks are generally believed by Muslims to be “absolutely against the teachings of Islam.”
The Sunday Independent claims that there is “some, but very little” radicalization taking place in Ireland and that Irish Muslims are open in their use of the word “Daesh,” a derogatory word used to describe extremists who claim to support groups like ISIL and Boko Haram in Nigeria. ISIL have threatened to “cut out the tongues” of Muslims heard to use the term.
Despite the fact that Ireland is the sole European state to have outlawed the “blasphemous” depiction of Mohammed, the government remains concerned that ISIL supporters may still carry out attacks in Ireland as the state does not fall in line with Islamic State supporters' reading of the Koran and does not uphold its beliefs.
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Earlier this year, Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan also warned against the possible infiltration of ISIS terrorists in Ireland, describing the threat “as a matter of great concern.”
"I believe it's important that we have an appropriate program of intelligence-gathering right throughout the European Union,” Minister Flanagan commented.
“There are files on jihadis in Ireland, of course there are… [but] I work closely with my colleagues in the Justice Department to ensure that any information we have is shared.”
The Fine Gael minister made the comments following the arrest of a man suspected of being an IS extremist in Dublin in early July. It is believed the Eastern-European man was attempting to travel to Syria to fight with IS. He was subsequently released without charge.
H/T: Sunday Independent