Sunday 18 March 2018

Flanagan hails gardaí after 'gangland hit' foiled and jihad suspect arrested

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has hailed the "dedication" of gardaí following an arrest in relation to a suspected link to international terrorism, as well as the foiling of an alleged attempted gangland hit.

Mr Flanagan said there had been "difficult challenges" facing the force in recent times but the intelligence-led arrests were an example of the "hard work" of Garda members.

"I believe it's important that we acknowledge the dedication of the hundreds of hard-working Garda Síochána throughout the country," he added.

An Algerian national in his 40s suspected of producing false passports for jihadi activists was arrested in Drumcondra on Tuesday.

It came as part of an overseas investigation into support cells for Isil fighters.

His alleged link to the support cells was unearthed during a search in Greece, where crucial documents were found.

Officers from London's Metropolitan Police contacted gardaí and sought assistance in the case.

The man was released from custody last night and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Separately, two men were arrested on Monday when armed gardaí intercepted a van on Dublin's Kylemore Road, which was carrying the men who were suspected of being on their way to a gangland hit.

It is believed the intended victim was former gang member Michael Frazer, who has survived a number of attempts on his life. The two suspects can be held for up to seven days.

In relation to the broader issue of international terrorism, Mr Flanagan said there was "no evidence of any likely threat to Ireland".

But he added: "There is absolutely no room for complacency. We must at all times remain vigilant." He said that the Government got security briefings "at the highest level".

He said: "We continue to share intelligence through the Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces at the highest level with our EU colleagues."

Irish Independent

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