Thursday 23 May 2019

Gardaí say terror attack 'unlikely' at Rising parade

Gardai
Gardai
Paul Williams

Paul Williams

The public have no reason to fear a possible Islamic terror attack during the 1916 commemoration parade through Dublin on Easter Sunday, gardaí have said.

A major security operation for the centre of the capital, involving several hundred officers from local and specialist Garda units, has been drawn up for the weekend's commemorations.

Sources said Garda chiefs had already factored in "all possible eventualities", including a terror attack, long before Tuesday's attacks in Brussels.

Large numbers of uniformed gardaí, backed up by undercover detectives, armed support squads, dog units and an Army bomb squad will be on duty as part of the policing plan for the historic event, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Senior anti-terrorist officers have advised the Government that their threat assessment has remained the same since last year - that while an attack by Isil in Ireland is possible, it is unlikely.

"People should not be afraid to attend this historic event because all possible eventualities have been factored into the planning, as indeed we do for all such major public events," a source said. "The existing threat level which has been in place for a number of years is moderate, which means that while a terrorist attack is possible it is very unlikely. The Brussels and Paris attacks have not changed that."

Meanwhile, the Garda's specialist anti-terrorist squads, the Counter Terrorism International Unit (CTI), the Special Detective Unit (SDU) and the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) are monitoring up to 40 Isil suspects on a continuous basis.

Gardaí have urged spectators to come out early on Sunday to get their places along the 4.5km route of the largest military parade in the history of the State.

As part of the security operation only ticket holders will be permitted into certain allocated areas along the route, which will see 3,700 members of the Defence Forces, gardaí and emergency services march from St Stephen's Green, past the GPO and end in Capel Street.

Crowds

Security will be particularly tight in and around the GPO, where President Michael D Higgins and dignitaries will view the parade.

It is understood the major operation will continue into the early part of next week as large crowds are also expected to attend several public events to commemorate the centenary.

Earlier this year, the Irish Independent revealed how Garda and Army intelligence units were monitoring upwards of 40 individuals who have been identified as either Isil supporters or jihadi fighters.

According to intelligence sources, most of the Isil suspects under surveillance have been providing financial assistance and documentation to enable radicalised young Muslim men travel to Syria and Iraq.

Irish Independent

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