Republic of Ireland news

Rachid Redouane 'not involved in terror cell' during time in Ireland

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has said London Bridge killer Rachid Redouane was not involved in any terror cell in the Republic. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association
Brian Hutton, Press Association

LONDON Bridge killer Rachid Redouane was not involved in any terror cell in the Republic during his time there, the Garda Commissioner has said.

But Noirin O'Sullivan accepted Redouane had gone through a "normal process of immigration" in Dublin.

Redouane, who claimed to be Moroccan-Libyan, had previously been refused asylum in the UK in 2009.

His marriage to a UK citizen in Dublin in 2012, giving him an EU travel permit, has prompted claims the Republic is being used by jihadis as a back door into Britain.

"The indications at this time are that this individual lived in this country for a short period of time, going through a normal process of immigration," Ms O'Sullivan said during an international policing conference in Dublin.

"Thereafter, he left and went with his wife, who is a UK citizen, to the UK and we are satisfied with the inquiries we have made at this time, that there is no link to terrorism in this country.

"We are also satisfied from the indications from our partners (in the UK) that that is also the case."

Garda inquiries into Redouane's time in the Republic currently centre around suspected immigration offences.

Two people believed to have documents linked to the killer have been arrested.

One Garda source said there is no knowledge of Redouane being involved with other international terror suspects who have been under surveillance in the Republic, and that he lived an apparently normal life during his time in Dublin.

Ms O'Sullivan defended the Republic's security response to the international terror threat, saying there had been several arrests and deportations in recent times.

Several individuals are also being "monitored very, very closely" and some of them are before the courts.

The Garda chief said her force was working with UK counterparts within an hour of the London Bridge attacks at the weekend.

She also pointed to an increase in armed patrols in the Republic.

"There will be more visible, overt armed patrols," she said.

"People shouldn't be afraid of that. That is actually to make sure the public are safe."

Ms O'Sullivan said counter-terrorism investigations around the country "make sure we know exactly what is happening in communities".

Gardaí are attempting to trace whether another of the London Bridge attackers, Khuram Shazad Butt, had spent any time in Dublin.

It is understood some members of the Muslim community in Dublin have been contacted.

Meanwhile, Brexit secretary David Davis has said the Common Travel Area (CTA) between the Republic and Britain is not under threat following revelations Redouane moved to the UK from Dublin.

He said the London Bridge attack should not "lead us to doubt the continuing existence of the CTA".

Mr Davis said the British and Irish governments were continuing to discuss security arrangements.

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