Gardaí still have a “lot of inquiries” to conduct in their investigation into Rachid Redouane, but believe they are mainly dealing with an “immigration investigation”.
The 30-year-old Moroccan was one of the three attackers who murdered eight people in London last Saturday.
Sources said there is no evidence, as of yet, that Redouane was in contact with people here with a view to preparing for a terrorist act or that he was radicalised here.
But sources did emphasise that they are still building up a picture of his time in Ireland and that they hadn’t quite “nailed down” completely when he was here and if it was in the last year.
Detectives suspect the recent period could be key, as he broke up from his wife six months ago, an event he may have used to spur on his murderous actions.
Video images were circulated yesterday showing Redouane and his two accomplices stabbing people who were out socialising in Borough Market area.
The images also show arriving armed police opening fire on the terrorists. Two of them, including, it is thought, Redouane, ran at the officers brandishing knives.
In the clip, Redouane knocks over an officer, who only manages to get away after a colleague opens fire on Redouane.
It is not yet clear how Redouane came in contact with the other two terrorists, Khuram Butt and Youssef Zaghba. All three at some stage lived in Barking, east London.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has said that within two hours of the London attack gardaí were able to identify Redouane.
Redouane was in Ireland at some stage in 2012 and married British woman Charisse O’Leary in Dublin in November 2012.
This allowed him to apply for EU residency which enabled him to travel from Ireland to the UK, which he had repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to get into.
The couple went to England in 2013, where they lived for a number of years. In 2015 they returned to Ireland when Ms O’Leary was pregnant and went back to London again in early 2016.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ms O’Leary said they broke up six months ago and gardaí are establishing if Redouane was in Ireland after that.
“Everything he did here, on the evidence uncovered so far, was to obtain immigration status,” said a garda source. “What occurred here in relation to him was to obtain status to move back to the UK.”
As part of the garda investigation, involving both immigration and anti-terrorism units, gardaí arrested two men, both also Moroccans, in Limerick and Wexford. The arrests were in relation to fraudulent documentation, involving the use of Redouane’s PPSN.
Investigators stressed that the individuals were involved in suspected criminality (it is an offence to use someone else’s PPSN) and not terrorism in any way.
The Counter-Terrorism International Unit is investigating if Redouane’s radicalisation may have happened while in Ireland.
But one source said: “There’s no evidence available to us or from external agencies that any radicalisation happened here.”
Detectives will try and check his known mobile phone for traffic data and endeavour to identify people he was in contact with.
But sources said there was no current intention of conducting further arrests.
“A lot of enquiries are yet to be done, but no arrests are planned,” said one source. “If the need arises, if evidence of criminality arises and someone is identified, we will consider our options.”
Gardaí said there was “nothing” from their investigations to “increase our concern or threat level”.
The threat level remains at moderate, meaning an attack is possible, but not likely. It is the second of five stages.
As reported in yesterday’s Irish Examiner, 24 new officers are joining the Special Detective Unit — divided between CTI and Counter Terrorism Domestic. The Dublin Armed Support Unit is getting 20 more and regional ASUs should operate 24/7 by year’s end.
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