With tensions high after the downing of the Russian fighter jet by Turkish forces the world has been holding its breath. Shortly after news of the incident happened, World War 3 began trending on Twitter amid fears that the incident could spark a furious response from Russia.
It was feared that other nations could then be dragged into a global conflict while yesterday a chilling ISIS video named Ireland as a prime target for attack. The ruthless Islamic fanatics claimed for the first time that Ireland is part of a “coalition of devils”.
It showed the tricolour among 60 other nation flags ISIS claim are part of a coalition against them. But how prepared is Ireland for such an attack in the horrible event that it took place?
Security analyst and former Irish Army Captain Tom Clonan believes we’re “Europe’s weakest link” in terms of being ready. He told us: “All we have is the Guards and they are doing everything from directing traffic on Dame Street and, at the same time trying to monitor protests.
“Now they are being asked to monitor this new existential threat. “We have really excellent people in the Gardai but they don’t have enough resources.”
While earlier this week an Irish Times article dealt with the threat facing Ireland and how the nation would cope if there was a terrorist incident.
They spoke to two security sources who explained why Ireland’s emergency response teams need to train for such a situation and if we don’t a crisis could turn into a catastrophe. It’s been reported that a week-long course of training at the Defence Forces Ordanance School in the Curragh, Co Kildare started on Monday.
The training course was set up long before the Paris attacks and around 20 members of the Defence Forces and Gardai and members of security forces from other countries attended. In the past, preparation focused on random shooter or lone wolf attacks.
However, mass killings such as the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris in January have changed things. The traditional response to a lone-wolf attack is to get an armed unit to the scene of the crisis, and secure the building or area which in turn prevented what was happening from spreading.
Secondary emergency services would then arrive on the scene to help end the crisis. In Ireland, uniformed and armed plain-clothes gardai will arrive first, followed by our most heavily armed counter-terrorism group, the Garda Emergency Response unit.
A source told the Irish Times: “The problem is that the old response won’t work and the casualty rate will spiral. “The lone campus wolf in America, that’s one scenario. “But a team, two or three teams, what then? “That second (terrorist) team they took out in St Denis, were they there waiting to go?
“This weekend maybe? Were they going to hit a memorial service (for victims of the first attacks)?” So, is Ireland ready if this new method of attack was implemented here A security source told the Irish Times: “No, is the simple answer. Look at what the M50 (crash and road closure) did in terms of chaos.
“If you don’t train how to respond to that, the other guys get to operate longer, killing and killing while you don’t kill them. “Are we prepared to allow that? If we are, okay. “But let’s talk about it and make sure we’re fine with that, accepting that if it does go off, it’s going to be bloody and long. “The best way to prepare and test yourself is to run an exercise.
“Are we saying ‘We’re the brightest people in Europe’, because we’re not running any?”
Authorities in Ireland have been keeping quiet about any training for terrorist attack so as not to alarm the public or let any potential attackers know about our training and preparation. Both security sources say that open talk about how to deal with the potential threat doesn’t encourage an attack.
The two sources added that training is the difference between an attack being a crisis or a catastrophe.