Ireland’s Gardaí announced an increased level of surveillance on the country’s ports and airports in an effort to cut down on inbound weapon smuggling. The Gardaí learned that a number of extremists may have recently used the darknet to facilitate illegal weapon importation. According to the Met Police, attackers in London may be attempting to do the same.
The Met Police told the Gardaí that they were investigating a potential lead that stemmed from the London terror attacks. One of the attackers, Rachid Redouane, may have attempted to obtain weapons online, authorities explained. And investigators at the Met have been pursuing a theory that Redouane and possibly others tried to use Ireland as a location for firearm shipments. And specifically shipments from a supplier on the darknet.
Recently police in the US arrested four men in a darknet weapons smuggling case. Two of the men, both from Atlanta, held information on the group that revealed, to law enforcement, that the group shipped to more than 50 countries. One of which was Ireland. People in Ireland continually get arrested for ordering weapons online.
And ever since the attack in Munich where a weapon from a darknet vendor was used in the killing of nine homicides, police showed a greater degree of attention to darknet threats. Met Police obtained an enormous amount of digital intel on Rachid Redouane and his associates. Some of the data, they explained, helped trace his associates. They will use this intel to determine whether or not Redouane and his English partner imported guns when they lived in south Dublin last year.
Port authorities introduced a new scanner for scanning shipments for hidden items. It was designed “to target and confront shadow economy activity, including fiscal fraud, fuel fraud, cash and tobacco smuggling, and drug trafficking, while at the same time facilitating the free flow of legitimate trade,” officials explained.
Ireland currently has a moderate terrorism threat level; a terrorist attack is possible but not likely. However, authorities want to be prepared in the event that one should occur. The parts of Ireland with the most IS sympathizers are the primary targets. However, the police explained that attacks would most likely be “lone wolf” attacks—a notoriously “difficult to prevent” type of attack.
At least 20 extremists are under surveillance for being potential threats to the country. So far, Limerick, Wexford, Galway and Mayo are considered places that contain an increased number of terrorist sympathizers. However, even surveillance has recently been proven unreliable unreliable as a preventative measure. And especially so for “lone wolf” attacks.
Thus, they explained, protecting the borders and preventing illegal weapon importation is the most effective route for preventing illegal items from entering the country.
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