Friday, February 29, 2008

Jihadis in Ireland?

Mysterious men believed to be from Afghanistan.

Three men have been arrested following the discovery of a number of devices at an apartment block in Tralee this evening.

It is believed the devices may be components for explosives.

This has not been confirmed and they have not as yet been examined.

It is understood that gardaí were acting on intelligence when they went to search the Atlas House complex at McCowen's Lane in Tralee this evening.

Atlas House is used as a hostel for asylum seekers and foreign nationals. Gardaí sealed off one of the apartments after a number of devices were found.

The three men, who are believed to be from Afghanistan, were arrested.

They are being detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and can be held for up to three days.

All three are aged in their 30s and 40s and it is believed that at least one of them has come to garda attention since his arrival in this country.
H/T threecoloursblue.

More here.
Gardaí would not confirm if the men were part of any terrorist cell acting in the country or linked to well-known fundamentalist groups in Afghanistan such as al-Qaida.
Update: A few more outlets now reporting the story include the Belfast Telegraph, the BBC and the Irish Times.

Indymedia Ireland suggests there was a planned Al Qaeda attack for St. Patrick's Day.
Al-Qaeda have been planning a co-ordinated terrorist attack against Ireland. It is believed that an Afghan terrorist cell is operating in Ireland in preparation for an attack on March 17th during the St. Patrick's day parade. Sources have revealed that suicide bombers were to launch their attacks by mingling with crowds in Dublin city centre, at Heuston station and aboard the Luas.

A planned attack on Shannon airport is also feared.
Update: Ed Morrissey has more.
A jihadi mission against Ireland would destroy the self-blaming explanations that many in Europe and the US offer regarding the nature of Islamist terrorism. It would show that the terrorists don’t target the West because of American foreign policy, or because of Western support for Israel. They target the West because of its secular governments and Christian cultures. In that context, Ireland makes a perfect target, especially since they might have been caught napping if they actually bought the we-brought-it-on-ourselves meme.
Update: The Indymedia link has been taken down and replaced with the following statement:
Sorry. This story has been hidden due to a possible breach of the editorial guidelines and is under review by the editorial group. If you think that this story should be allowed to remain on the newswire, please check our editorial guidelines and if you think that your article does not breach any of these guidelines, you can contact the editorial collective to make your case.
They're probably afraid of offending anyone...

Update: The three have been released.
Three men from Afghanistan arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity were released without charge. Gardai raided a hostel at Atlas House on McCowen's Lane, Tralee, Co Kerry, where the men were staying and seized a number of items including electronic components and radio parts.

Initially the electronic parts were believed to be components for an explosive device but after questioning the men for several hours gardai do not believe the items are suspicious.

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