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Monday 20 February 2017

100 elite gardaí and soldiers in terror fight

Tom Brady and Paul Williams

Published 24/11/2015 | 02:30

The Rangers first became involved as a unit in peace enforcement missions overseas in Somalia in 1994 and have since served in missions in East Timor, Liberia, Chad and the Balkans
The Rangers first became involved as a unit in peace enforcement missions overseas in Somalia in 1994 and have since served in missions in East Timor, Liberia, Chad and the Balkans

Ireland has around 100 elite gardaí and soldiers who are adequately armed and trained to confront lethal terrorist groups like Islamic State (Isil).

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The State's elite counter-terrorism units - comprising the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) - have significantly increased their training to deal with the threat posed by jihadi fighters in the past year.

Their training programmes have recently been expanded, particularly since the threat level was increased early this year from "low" to "moderate", which means a terror attack in this country is possible but not likely.

Both the ERU and ARW are specially trained in hostage rescue operations, close protection and intelligence gathering, which the Rangers refer to as their 'black role'.

However, the number of troops in the ARW commando unit is understood to have halved in recent years, as the overall strength and structure of the Defence Forces were shrunk by budget cuts. Members of the ERU have trained overseas with the French, Dutch, Germans and Finns.

Irish Independent

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