Elite terror cops primed to respond to Dublin city centre attack in just THREE minutes

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Elite heavily armed gardai could arrive at the scene of a terror threat in Dublin City centre in just THREE MINUTES, Ireland's top anti-terror officer has said.

Garda Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan, in charge of security and intelligence, was speaking at the Interpol European Regional Conference in Dublin today.

Mr O'Sullivan said that he and his officers fear a terror attack from a lone wolf attackers most. He said that he has tested the garda response and believes they will be able to deal with any threat.

Garda ERU members in an anti-terror exercise

The response would include two to three fully staffed ERU response cars based on Harcourt Street.

Mr O'Sullivan revealed that two real world incidents in Dublin city have shown the rapid response of armed gardai to a potential terror strike.

He said: "There are two ERU units standing by on Harcourt Square, and another two further armed support units in north Dublin who would be there in seven minutes.

ERU members in an anti-terror exercise

“I’m quite happy with our response and our capabilities, our capabilities are much much better than they were four years ago, and I would have no difficulty in saying we are as well-resourced and equipped as any other country.

“Two examples, one was an incident in a DART station in south Dublin where an individual had a firearm, it was an imitation firearm but we weren’t to know that, the train was stopped boarded and the individual disarmed in five minutes.

Garda Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan

“Another incident in O’Connell Bridge where an individual was wielding an axe and the response there was four minutes so I can only use past experience to indicate our response.”

He said a "live exercises" have found that the garda response to a terror incident in Dublin city would see gardai arriving within three minutes.

He added: "We have done real live exercises based on live data that was undertaken by myself, and what we found was there were three cars heavily armed, and we looked at a similar target to London Bridge which we identified as Temple Bar, and we found there were three cars within three minutes of the location."

He also revealed that most of the 30 Irish Jihadis that fought in the so-called Caliphate.

He added: "We believe quite a number of those are deceased and some are missing. There are also a small number we still believe to be in the theatre of war."

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