Americans in Ireland targeted for terror?

By WND Staff

U.S. Embassy in Dublin

Ireland is dispatching extra officers to protect both the U.S. and Israeli Embassies in Dublin following warnings the two are among the most vulnerable to terrorist attacks in Europe.

The Sunday Independent of Ireland reports an additional 20 detectives were appointed to the Special Branch of the Garda, and all are to be deployed in embassy and diplomatic protection.

The American Embassy was listed as the most vulnerable U.S. mission after al-Qaida threatened last year to attack “smaller, softer targets.”

Embassy officials installed a blast wall and a reinforced steel and concrete entrance after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The paper says the al-Qaida attacks in Madrid last March which killed close to 200 people spurred the Dublin government to action.

A report by army specialists says despite the vulnerability of the U.S. Embassy, “the risk of attack in Ireland is low and for the moment there are no plans to move the embassy.”

The Independent found a strong sense of complacency among Irish citizens, with 87 percent not worried about an al-Qaida attack on Irish soil, according to a national telephone survey.

Only three percent believed Irish security forces were prepared for such an attack.

The Independent reports army intelligence and the Garda Special Branch have significantly increased their surveillance and intelligence gathering on suspected al-Qaida figures on the Emerald Isle.

Security sources believe while there’s a small al-Qaida network in Ireland, its members are “non-operational” and involved mainly in providing financial assistance for the European terrorist network, manufacturing fake identities and credit cards, as well as recruiting young people.

The military and Garda intelligence services are reportedly monitoring figures in south inner Dublin who they believe either actively or passively support al-Qaida.