Europol warns of ‘anti-immigrant ideology’ in Ireland and links to far right in Europe and US

A photo of EUROPOL HQ, the European Police Force which has warned of "anti-immigrant"ideology and the far right in Ireland.

A new report published by Europol has warned of the danger far-right extremism poses to Ireland. The European law enforcement agency has said that “anti-immigrant ideology” in Ireland is the cause of attacks on direct provision centres. 

And it highlighted that there are also links between Irish far-right activists and other extremists in Europe and the US. 

“Anti-immigrant ideology”

Published by Europol on 23 June, the European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend report (TE-SAT) 2020 draws attention to the far-right threat in Europe. In the case of Ireland, “known criminal elements have been identified as affiliated with right-wing protests”.

The report also highlights the attacks on direct provision centres. Europol argues that such attacks are “associated with anti-immigrant ideology”. 

Funding for the far-right is also examined. It’s revealed that the majority of funding for the far right comes from its supporters. Most funding is raised through donations via bank transfers or collections during concerts. Some groups have also encouraged donations via cryptocurrencies.

In Ireland, the report found that “several high profile right-wing extremist online figures ask for online donations, partially in cryptocurrencies”. 

International links

It’s noted in the report that far-right attacks such as the ones at Christchurch and El Paso “are part of a wave of violent incidents worldwide”. In all cases the perpetrators were members of “similar online communities and took inspiration from one another”. In the case of the foiled attack in Oslo, the terrorist voiced his support of the Christchurch shooter.

Europol also pointed out that the far right “maintain international links” through concerts and events to mark historical occasions. The Internet also plays a similar role. It was found that interactions online were “observed to strengthen international links between right-wing extremists”.

And what unites the far right is its “rejection of diversity and minority rights”.

In terms of Ireland, Europol discovered there is a “strong international network involving right-wing extremists from Ireland, other European countries, and the USA”.

As previously reported by The Beacon, at a “free speech” protest earlier this year a member of the National Party could be heard telling a protestor that:

We’ve got a lot of people in America coming on board helping us now as well.

Inciting violence

In the foreword the executive director of Europol, Catherine De Bolle, wrote that many far-right groups in Europe “have not resorted to violence”. 

But she noted that the same groups “contribute to a climate of fear and animosity against minority groups”. And she pointed out that this may be a stepping stone to attacks, writing that:

Such a climate, built on xenophobia, hatred for Jews and Muslims and anti-immigration sentiments, may lower the threshold for some radicalised individuals to use violence against people and property of minority groups

According to the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR), there has been a large increase in people reporting racist incidents to the organisation.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – OSeveno


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