Saturday 10 December 2016

New terrorism threat requires fresh thinking

Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30

The annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors is taking place today Stock photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors is taking place today Stock photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

We must plan for the worst and hope for the best when it comes to the new terrorist threat Ireland faces, along with all western democracies. That is the brutal lesson of recent horrors in Paris and Brussels.

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Today, senior gardaí, gathered in Westport for the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), will spell out their fears about potential attacks arising from the new kind of subversive threat posed by al-Qa'ida, Isil and their myriad affiliates. Few of us will be surprised to learn that AGSI members fear there are large gaps in our state of preparedness.

It is probably equally unsurprising to hear that the limited knowledge and expertise that the security services do possess is very much centred on the Dublin area. That leaves a large vacuum in other centres of population around the country, leaving opportunities for radical men and women of violence to plan and prepare with impunity.

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