Update: Four people are being questioned in connection with the suspected funding of IS groups in Syria in what senior sources described as a “very significant” terror financing operation.
The four – three women and one man – were arrested following six searches in Dublin conducted by the Special Detective Unit.
The arrests were made on foot of a major investigation, initiated a number of months ago, by Garda intelligence and financial units.
Detectives suspect that the family-based group was sending funds through a bank to people in Syria who are suspected of being affiliated to the so-called Islamic State.
The four - consisting of a sister, a brother, his girlfriend and an ex-wife - are believed to be from Uzbekistan, and are thought to have legal residence in Ireland.
They are not suspected of posing a jihadist threat here, but are believed to be sympathisers of IS and suspected of transferring funds to it.
Some €4,500 cash was seized and officers believe tens of thousands of euro has been transmitted.
The intelligence part of the operation was conducted by the Terrorist Financing Intelligence Unit (TFIU), attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, after it received a suspicious transaction report from a bank. It submitted a report to the Security and Intelligence Section for analysis, who sent it to the SDU, and its Counter-Terrorism International unit, for investigation.
Members of the Financial Intelligence Unit, within which the TFIU sits, were present during the SDU's operation.
Phones and laptops have been taken away and will be examined by the computer forensics unit of the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau.
The operation has been described by security sources as “very significant”.
Those arrested are suspected of terrorist financing contrary to Section 13 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act, 2005 and are detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, allowing for up to 24 hours' detention
The man is aged in his 40s. One of the females is aged in her 30s, one is in her 40s and one is in her 60s.
Last month, the Irish Examiner reported there were only two staff in the TFIU, and 11 in total in the FIU, despite international calls on the State to boost resources and “more actively” pursue prosecutions.
Only one person has been convicted of terror financing to date.
Earlier: Gardaí investigating suspected terrorist financing have arrested four people in Dublin and seized documents and cash.
Six searches were carried out across the capital earlier by a number of Garda units.
€4,500 in cash was seized, along with documents and electronic equipment.
A man in his 40s and three women are now being questioned.
They can be held for up to 24 hours.