Sunday 4 December 2016

We need to sharpen up our security measures for Ireland - and quickly

Michael C Murphy

Published 28/11/2015 | 02:30

French police secure a perimeter in Paris. Thousands of troops have been deployed around the city following the deadly terrorist attacks
French police secure a perimeter in Paris. Thousands of troops have been deployed around the city following the deadly terrorist attacks

In the last few days a video has been produced, purportedly from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which includes Ireland as a member of the 'Coalition of Devils' and thus one of ISIL's potential targets. Of course, it would have been very naïve indeed to think that Ireland would not be included as a potential target - if, for no other reason than our lax attitude towards security and defence is well known. This raises the question as to how prepared we are to pre-empt a potential attack.

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One of the intentions of Islamic State is to draw western military ground forces into the conflict in Syria/Iraq. It has been known for some time that the terrorist group intended to place terrorist cells within Europe. In their ideal situation western ground forces would be fighting abroad while troop homelands would be hit by attacks from ISIL-planted cells. It is no secret that ISIL has used their imposed migrant crisis to infiltrate members into Europe. A recent think-tank report suggests that the presence of at least one battle-hardened jihadist in a terror cell increases the chance of a successful attack by at least 40pc. The recent attack in Paris seems to confirm that analysis.

The security of the Irish state and the protection of the Irish people is the primary responsibility of the Government. Ultimate responsibility rests with An Taoiseach. It is his responsibility to ensure that the security structures in place are fit for purpose, and it cannot be deflected elsewhere.

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