NewsCrime Desk

Army Rangers and Garda ERU step up training amid terror attack concerns

Crime DeskBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Army Ranger Wing
Army Ranger Wing

Ireland’s military special forces unit the Ranger Wing (ARW) and the gardai’s S.W.A.T team, the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), have stepped up their training following last week’s attacks on Paris.

Their training was expanded since the threat level was increased early this year from “low” to “moderate”, which means a terror attack in this country is possible but not likely.

Yesterday sundayworld.com reported that a senior Muslim cleric warned that the government was ignoring ISIS recruitment in Irish mosques. Read the full story here.

Ireland’s elite counter- terrorism units have trained overseas, with ERU gardai working with the French, Dutch, Germans, British and PSNI forces.

The Irish Independent reports a senior garda source as saying that the ERU was given “very sophisticated” training, including  hostage-taking incidents, sieges, and dealing with attackers who are heavily armed and possibly wearing suicide vests.

Just last month the ARW become the first international team to win both the International and overall categories in the United States Sniper Competition in Fort Benning Georgia.

Facing competition from 36 other teams drawn from the U.S military, international military and U.S state and federal law enforcement, this is the first time that an International team has won both the overall and International competition categories. Read the full story here.

The ARW has served overseas in East Timor, Liberia, Chad, the Balkans and Somalia and will see its numbers increased to over 100 in 2014.

Both the Garda and the Army have a number of Arabic speakers in their ranks with a significant group available to military intelligence as a result of Defence Forces deployment overseas.

On Saturday afternoon a meeting of the national security committee was held following the Paris attacks.

The committee includes the Garda Commissioner, Defence Forces Chief of Staff, and their main Garda and army security advisers, as well as senior officials from the Departments of Justice, Defence and Foreign Affairs.

It was agreed that the threat level should remain at moderate.