Irish police have arrested two men with possible links to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The men, one Irish and one Eastern European, were arrested under the provisions of the 2005 Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act which allows the state to prosecute persons engaged in acts of terrorism outside the State.
The Irish Independent reports that the arrests in Dublin and the midlands were prompted by information found by gardai (police) concerning efforts by both men to travel to Syria.
The first man, who is well known to police and has a history of promoting an extremist view of the Koran, was arrested last month at a house in the midlands.
It has been reported that the gardai recovered several thousand euros, a packed travel bag, a computer, and a passport in the search of the man's home. The man was released after questioning.
Both men, who are believed to have known each other for some time, deny they were intent on engaging in terrorism.
There has been no official comment on the arrests from the gardai.
Last week another man was arrested in Dublin under the suspicion that he was involved in ISIS. Two weeks ago he attempted to travel from Dublin to Istanbul. He was sent back to Ireland as Turkish authorities felt there were “irregularities” with his Eastern European passport. The gardai placed the suspect under surveillance as he left Dublin airport.
The gardai arrived him and raided his home. Gardaí feared the man was involved with ISIS but could not confirm this.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan warned that terror attacks, such as the shooting in Tunisia earlier this month, in which three Irish people were killed, can happen “anywhere, anytime.”
She continued "We must be aware of new terror threats.”
“From an Irish perspective, when we hear of victims of a barbaric terrorist attack on a beach in Tunisia with Irish names and addresses, and the outpouring of sympathies at the funeral, it just brings it into sharp focus that anybody can be a victim, any time, any place.
“Ireland has a history of having to deal with its ‘indigenous terrorist threat’ but we must also be aware of new challenges,” she continued.
We’re very mindful that while we don’t have any significant intelligence of an attack here in Ireland, nevertheless we remain very, very mindful and have a shared interest with our partners right across the globe.”