herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Flanagan salutes 'dedicated' gardai for detaining key suspects

Gardai make an interception on the Kylemore Road
Gardai make an interception on the Kylemore Road

Justice Minister Charles Flanagan has hailed the "dedication" of gardai after arrests in relation to an alleged attempted gangland hit.

Gardai have also arrested a man suspected of being linked to international terrorism.

Mr Flanagan said gardai had faced "difficult challenges" but the intelligence-led arrests demonstrated their "hard work".

"I believe it's important that we acknowledge the dedication of the hundreds of hard-working Garda Siochana throughout the country," he said.

Two men suspected of being on their way to a gangland hit were arrested on Monday when armed gardai intercepted a van in Dublin's Kylemore Road.

It is believed the ­intended victim was former gang ­member Michael Frazer, who has ­survived a number of ­attempts on his life.

The two suspects can be held for up to seven days.

In a different case, an Algerian man in his 40s suspected of producing false passports for jihadi activists was arrested in Drumcondra on Tuesday.

Fighters

His arrest was part of an overseas investigation into support cells for Islamic State fighters. His alleged link to the support cells was unearthed during a search in Greece where crucial documents were found. Officers from London's Metropolitan Police contacted gardai and sought assistance in the case

The man was released from custody last night and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In relation to the broader issue of international terrorism, Mr Flanagan said there was, "no evidence of any likely threat" to Ireland.

"[But] there is absolutely no room for complacency," he added. "We must at all times remain vigilant."

He said that the Government receives security briefings "at the highest level" and he was pleased with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's decision to establish a national security committee.

It met for the first time last month. "We continue to share intelligence through the ­Garda Siochana and the ­Defence ­Forces at the highest level with out EU colleagues," said Mr Flanagan.

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