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Coalition of Devils'.. ATTACK ON FREEDOM: WARNING OVER HATE VIDEO; Fanatics make first direct threat against our nation; Expert warns we are weakest link in 'Coalition of Devils'.

Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

IS has for the first time threatened Ireland as one of their enemies as a leading security analyst revealed we are a prime target for an attack.

In a chilling video released online, the ruthless fanatics claimed this country is part of a "coalition of devils" and names Ireland alongside an image of the tricolour.

The Irish flag is one of 60 belonging to nations the terrorists claim are part of a global coalition against the Islamic State.

The video will increase the perceived threat level against this country which security expert and former Irish Army captain Dr Tom Clonon believes is Europe's "weakest link". He told the Mirror: "In launching an attack on Paris they exploited a perceived weakness in the intelligence relationship between Brussels and Paris - they looked for the gap in the hedge.

"They are picking security weak spots, they are not going to go for the most secure, defended protected target.

"Their modus operandi is to go for weakness.

"And guess what? Ireland is Europe's weakest link when it comes to security, defence and intelligence.

"Ireland is also the global headquarters for Facebook, Google and Twitter. We have Shannon Airport where 2.2 million US troops have passed through.

So if you were the bad guy how would you see Ireland now we are named among the 60 devils? So if you were the bad guy how would you see Ireland now we are named among the 60 devils?

"Ireland is a very attractive target for these people."

The IS video challenges America to "bring it on" claiming military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have left troops "demoralised".

A booming, Hollywood-style voiceover says: "We only bow to Allah unless the countless deviant factions raising their false banners.

"America, you claim to have the greatest army history has known.

"You may have the numbers and weapons but your soldiers lack the will and resolve, still scarred from their defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq. Your numbers only increase us in faith. We're counting your banners, which our prophet said would reach 80 in number and then the flames of war will finally burn you on the hills of death.

"Bring it on... Gather your allies. Plot against us and show us no respite.

"Our ally is the greatest. He is Allah and all glory goes to him."

Dr Clonan believes our country is totally unprepared for an IS attack.

He added: "What makes Ireland different from all our neighbours in Europe is we do not have the investment in intelligence and security they have in other states.

"The events in Paris and Brussels show Islamic State is a learning organisation and they have moved from being haphazard and amateurish to being able to launch simultaneous attacks across several targets.

"There is now a de facto existential change to the threat in Europe and I think Francis Fitzgerald is the only European minister for justice or interior minister who says there's no chance.

"That is completely at odds with the facts and with what everybody else thinks. In fact it's completely at odds with common sense.

"Across the water you have got MI5 and MI6, two dedicated intelligence agencies, and you have GCHQ in Cheltenham and all the metropolitan constabularies, transport and the UK Border Force.

"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."

The video is sure to increase pressure on the Government to give gardai more resources and training.

Coalition ministers have been accused of failing to deal with the IS threat and appeared convinced the country would not be targeted because it is neutral.

But Dr Clonan maintains this is a failure of duty by the Government.

He said: "In every other jurisdiction there is an informed discussion about this.

"In the last few weeks I've been involved in a number of in-studio conversations with members of the Government and their instinct is to close down discussions.

"At best it's patronising and naive, at worst it's a significant failure in their duty of care towards the Irish people.

"Enda Kenny let slip at a meeting in Madrid he'd have been happy to put the army on the streets to protect capital controls.

"But they are not prepared to enter into a discussion about protecting people in the run-up to Christmas against the possibility of a Jihadist attack."

pat. flanagan@irishmirror.ie

IRISH MIRROR COMMENT: PAGE 12 POLICY

We don't have the investment in intelligence and security they have in other states DR TOM CLONAN on terror group's view of ireland

CAPTION(S):

POLICY Enda Kenny

ANALYSIS Dr Tom Clonan

MURDERERS IS named Ireland on target list
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Nov 26, 2015
Words:816
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