Thousands of social media posts of suspected Islamic extremists living in Ireland are being viewed every week, security sources have told the Irish Examiner.
Garda HQ is also reviewing security strategies in the wake of both the Nice truck massacre and the German train axe attack.
The revelations come as the head of Europol urged Ireland to modernise its interception laws to help tackle the threat of terrorism.
Rob Wainwright said that there is a “vacuum in the law” when it comes to Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media which needs to be addressed.
Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Mr Wainwright said: “I think we haven’t yet reached a stage where we have the right, balanced, proportional, modern system of managing the way terrorists make use of the internet.
“I think there is a bit of a vacuum in the law and a vacuum in how we deal with that in society. As these countries move more and more to Ireland as Ireland becomes a data hub, it’s important Ireland gets that right in terms of how these different parts of our society work together maybe in a more constructive way.”
It is understood specialist gardaí are monitoring the public online activity of known suspects here to gauge their reaction to the recent terrorist attacks.
“Thousands of posts are looked at every week, and that is done all the time,” said one source. “If there is anything of interest, it is followed up.”
Gardaí are conducting these reviews, but security sources said it was “very, very difficult” to prevent someone using the likes of a truck from killing people in crowded public areas or someone, like the teenage refugee in Germany, from stabbing train passengers.
Officials pointed out that they were alive to the possible use of a truck in a terror attack because of statements by IS spokesmen in 2014 urging people to use rocks, knives, and cars to kill.