The Irish and British governments have launched an historic joint operation to prevent jihadi fighters entering either jurisdiction via a backdoor route.

In a first ever such initiative, intelligence operatives from both countries are now sharing information on a daily basis on visa applicants.

The Irish Independent reports that a joint watch list on suspect jihadi fighters is being operated by the Irish and British authorities.

The report says immigration officers are already sharing information dossiers as they monitor suspects trying to evade controls and entry checks.

The paper adds that new plans will see the data sharing co-operation grow to an unprecedented level.

Proposals include cross-checking on airline passenger information, focusing particularly on flights to or from conflict zones and Irish and British airports.

The report adds that fingerprint details made during immigration checks will also be shared.

The move comes just days after Irish peacekeeping troops in Syria’s Golan Heights engaged in heavy machinegun fire as they helped rescue 38 Filipino soldiers from al-Qa'ida-linked forces.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has backed the new co-operation after the UK's terror threat level was raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ due to the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria.

He is considering a move that would see British-born jihadis in Iraq and Syria temporarily banned from returning to the UK.

The new co-operation with the Irish authorities is a follow-on from an agreement worked on by Irish PM Enda Kenny and Mr Cameron.

It has been developed at quarterly meetings of senior Irish and British immigration officers.

The Irish Independent has previously reported that jihadis using Ireland as a base for regular trips to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq face losing their Irish citizenship.

Police and military sources in Dublin have targeted 30 jihadi fighters who are resident in Ireland but travel frequently to the combat areas.

The Irish Department of Justice has said that Ireland is fully committed to safeguarding the security of the common travel area. This has been given the highest priority by the immigration service.

The report adds that Ireland is also working on proposals to develop an advance passenger information system, requiring airlines and other carriers to provide data about passengers.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice told the Irish Independent that the phenomenon of individuals traveling from all over Europe to the fighting in the Middle East was a concern to the majority of European states and others internationally.