Ireland visa rules in the spotlight in wake of London terror attacks

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Ireland’s Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) is to investigate a man arrested by police in Limerick on suspicion of helping to orchestrate the London terror attacks on 3 June, 2017. Sources say that the man, found working as a chef in the city, was in possession of an identity paper number issued in the name of terrorist, Rachid Redouane.

A search of the man’s house in the city centre was conducted by GNIB officers, while the man was escorted to a police station on Roxboro Road. There, the man was questioned for approximately 17 hours, under suspicion of using forged documents to enter Ireland, police sources confirmed.

The man was released without charge pending an inquiry on the matter, which has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Senior police officials stated that the investigation is ‘being led by the GNIB’ after they were satisfied that the man had no direct links to terrorism.

No knowledge of terrorism plans

According to investigating officers, the man obtained identification documents via a third party and believe that he had no knowledge of terror plans in London. The police have since dismissed security concerns raised by various parties about increased numbers of foreign nationals transiting through a building in Limerick city, who entered Ireland on commercial flights landing at Shannon Airport.

It’s been reported that groups of men in their dozens have travelled to Ireland from non-European countries and occupying a nearby building after landing at Clare Airport. Having assessed the situation, the police determined that the men in question posed no threat to security.

A senior police official said: “No there's nothing suspicious about it. We looked into it as after a number of reports had been made to us. It seems to have been a grounding address for people coming from Romania and other countries, who have right of access anyway.”

Man resembled terrorist, Redouane

The man arrested in Limerick resembled terrorist Redouane in that he was of Moroccan descent. He had been working in Ireland illegally for a number of years, according to sources close to the investigation.

An official said: “This man had used false ID to acquire an RSI number in order to work. It seems he got Redouane’s RSI number by chance and he used his own photo on the identity card with Redouane’s name. Before coming to Limerick he worked in the South East of the country. He worked as a chef.”

Redouane’s name flagged up on Welfare system data, which alerted police. Spokesperson for Fianna Fail – an Irish political party – Niall Collins said: “This highlights a major flaw in our welfare identity system. It now seems that RSI details of individuals are being sold on to illegal immigrants who want to get work.”

He added: “This is extremely concerning from a security perspective, especially in relation to fraud. The security lapse only emerged because a thorough review was carried out once it became evident that the terrorist, Redouane had lived and worked in Dublin before heading back to the UK.”

Immediate and detailed statements should be issued

According to Collins, immediate and in-depth statements should be released by the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald and the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar to establish exactly what’s been going on. He said: “This has now come to our doorstep.”

Collins questioned Ireland’s immigration procedure as he declared that Islamic fundamental terrorists are now using the country as a base for their activities in the UK. He said: “We are viewed as an easy open door to the UK as our security services have been decimated with cutbacks.”

The man was arrested after GNIB officials received intel from British police. Documents recovered from the man’s house were in the name of Rachid Redouane – one of the men responsible for the atrocities in London on 3 June. The investigation is ongoing.