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Terrorism laws raise questions about Shannon stopovers

The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced additional terror offences in the Seanad on October 7 and expressed concern about the “recruitment and training for terrorist activities”.

This decision is welcome. Terrorising people is a very serious crime, especially when the tools of terrorism including horrific killings, torture and most serious abuses of women and children.

The Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria, is guilty of all these crimes but it is not alone. Saudi Arabia is reported to have executed at least 26 people in August by publicly beheading them. Drone strikes by the US have killed more than 2,400 people in the past five years, almost half of whom were civilians, causing terror in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.

Ms Fitzgerald said the legislation was to combat terrorist activity and ensure “there were no gaps in Irish laws by dealing with more subtle and indirect aspects of modern terrorism”. She added that there was considerable concern at the phenomenon of individuals travelling to conflict areas in the Middle East.

We should expect then that the legislation will include sanctions against IS and states such as Saudi Arabia, as well as steps to prevent recruitment of Irish citizens into foreign armies that have been fighting unjustified wars causing terror in the Middle East, including the UK and US. Should we also expect that armed “individuals travelling to conflict areas in the Middle East” through Shannon airport will be arrested and tried under this new Irish legislation?

Edward Horgan




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