Garda and Army intelligence units are monitoring upwards of 40 individuals who have been identified as either Isil supporters or jihadi fighters, the Irish Independent has learned.
Sources have revealed the majority of the suspects under surveillance are believed to be involved in recruiting and providing logistic support to the extremist terror group.
A small number of jihadi fighters living in Ireland have also been secretly prevented from leaving the country and are under constant surveillance. According to informed security sources the “40-plus” Isil members have been identified as a result of ongoing intelligence-gathering operations conducted by the Garda and their international counterparts.
The Irish Independent can also reveal a newly formed, heavily armed Regional Support Unit (RSU) is to be assigned to Dublin as a direct response to the growing security threat. It is understood the new, high visibility special weapons and tactics unit (Swat) will have 60 members, including 10 sergeants and 50 gardaí.
The decision by the Garda Commissioner to organise the new RSU came in response to an ongoing high-level review of security in the wake of increased Isil terror attacks across Europe.
The unit – which is similar to the existing RSU units already deployed for some years in each of the Garda regions outside the capital – will be deployed on the streets to free up the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) for more intensive counter-terrorism operations.
It is also understood that as part of the increased security measures additional specialist personnel are being recruited to the Garda Counter Terrorism International (CTI) unit, the ERU, military intelligence and the Army Ranger Wing (ARW).