Sunday 21 January 2018

Muslims fear security lapses could lead to attacks here

Could a single deranged individual cause the same carnage as we saw in Nice on the streets of Ireland, asks Jim Cusack

Could a single deranged individual cause the same carnage as we saw in Nice on the streets of Ireland? Stock Image: PA
Could a single deranged individual cause the same carnage as we saw in Nice on the streets of Ireland? Stock Image: PA
Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

Members of the Muslim community in Ireland are concerned that lapses in security here could lead to a lone wolf-like attacker emerging in Ireland.

The Republic is probably at the bottom of the league of targets for extreme Islamists, due to its neutrality and blasphemy laws, but indoctrination is taking place in Ireland and online by extreme Islamists that all Christian or non-faith Europeans are 'kuffar' and legitimate targets.

One senior figure in the main Sunni community here said that there are recent concerns that the process of 'radicalisation' could push some young men with mental or emotional issues over the tipping point and into a murderous rampage like that in Nice.

Sources in the community point out that many of the suicide or lone wolf attackers in Europe were never previously interested in religion and many were drifting into crime before being recruited into Isil.

This extreme version of Koranic teaching is taught or shared among what mainstream Muslim sources say are small number of prayer groups mainly in Dublin. They do not have a mosque.

Garda sources say that while a number, believed to be between 30 and 40, joined the Islamist groups in Syria there has not been any sign of men returning with the intention of mounting attacks here.

The main activities of the 'Wahabist' elements appears to be raising money and providing fake documentation for the terrorists, sources say. One man who was suspected of both recruiting and raising funds was found with €5,000 in cash.

Muslims are the most law abiding immigrant group in Ireland. Figures released last week by the Courts Service showed that out of requests for 7,490 interpreter services only 118 were for Arabic. The majority of interpreter services were for Eastern European languages with some 5,754 in total.

Many of the devout members of the community feel anger about elements being allowed into the country who they believe could bring their reputation in Ireland into disrepute.

Gardai are aware of one man, of Algerian origin, who came here several years ago after he was suspected of a fatal stabbing of another Muslim man in London. Although he was deported from Ireland for criminality, he returned and made a young Irish woman pregnant which will allow him to apply for and be granted Irish citizenship. The fear now is that he is moving towards jihadism.

One of the common factors in lone wolf attacks is that the perpetrator is someone who has moved from an aimless and often criminal background into the mass murder mode, in the belief their acts of violence will propel them into salvation.

Mohammed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Tunisian-born man who carried out the mass murder attack in Nice, was described as a career criminal who drank alcohol, ate pork and took drugs. An associate said Bouhlel never prayed or attended a mosque, and hit his wife - with whom he had three children aged five, three and 18 months - and was in the process of getting a divorce.

Garda sources say that a small number of young Muslim men fit this life pattern and are a source of concern.

Following attacks in other European cities and the Dublin gang feud attack at the Regency Hotel in February, the Government announced the setting up of a new 50-plus strong armed response unit in Dublin. There have, however, been delays in setting this up after members of the Garda Representative Association threatened court action over the selection process.

There are also a considerable number of gaps at management level in the Gardai after Government granted permission for only around half the near-200 posts due to be filled. Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan told a public meeting with the Policing Authority last month that filling these posts was 'critical' for the performance of the Gardai.

While the Government gave the go-ahead for the promotions up to assistant commissioner level there appears to be a further hold-up and no announcements of new appointments had been issued by yesterday.

Sunday Independent

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