Threat posed to State by republican subversives ‘tangible’

The Department of Justice policy document said the threat posed by republican subversives to this State was “tangible” and was assessed as “severe” in the North.

“It is the Garda assessment that there continues to be a real and persistent threat from the activities of so-called dissident republican groups,” it said.

It said the threat from international terrorism had become “all too clear” in light of recent events in Europe and elsewhere.

“The current threat to Ireland from this source is assessed as being that while an attack is possible, it is not considered likely,” it said, adding that more than 4,500 European citizens have travelled to conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa since 2011.

The department said many have returned and some have participated in attacks in Europe.

“In addition to being aware of some individuals who have travelled from this jurisdiction, An Garda Síochána is aware of individuals based in this State who are engaged in the promotion and facilitation of international terrorism,” it said.

It said the current attacks on the Islamic State’s (IS) so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq may result in the large displacement of IS members, many to Europe.

It said there had been a shift by IS leaders to encouraging people to engage in “personal jihad” and self-motivated attacks in Europe.

It quotes IS spokesman Mohammed al-Adani as saying: “If you kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian or a Canadian, or any of the other disbelievers waging war [against us], including the citizens of countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah and kill them in any manner or way however it may be.

“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife or run him over with your car or throw him down from a high place or choke him or poison him.”

The document said recent trends showed that many of the perpetrators were “self motivated and relatively unknown”.

It said that many states, including those with the most sophisticated security apparatuses, have found themselves vulnerable to attacks and have suffered appalling acts of terrorism.

“It is therefore essential that the security services and forces of law and order are as best equipped as possible to address these attacks, both in terms of material resources and access to intelligence. The assistance of the communications sector in this area is critical.”

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