Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said that “every democracy”, including Ireland, is “at risk to some degree” from the threat of terrorism.
She said the “very Western life and democratic values are under attack” by Islamic extremists, which meant that vigilance was now required.
“There is no particular information that we are a target. But every democracy is at risk to some degree because it is the very democratic values that, as we saw in Paris, are under attack. The freedom to be out there, the freedom to go to a concert, to a sports event,” she said.
The minister was speaking after the Irish Independent and ‘Sunday Independent’ revealed that a small number of Irish-based Muslim extremists play a key role in providing logistical and financial support to international terror outfits, especially Islamic State (Isil).
The leader of the network is suspected of procuring false documents and passports, as well as providing small sums of cash to pay for travel and subsistence.
Intelligence sources have revealed that the movements of the group are being closely monitored and that they enjoy “very little if any” support from the Muslim community in this country.
Gardaí have also intercepted a number of UK citizens who came to Ireland by ferry in the hope of obtaining flights to the Middle East without raising suspicion.
The network is subject to constant surveillance by the specialist garda unit, Counter Terrorism International (CTI).