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Normally associated with routine troop deployments and logistic support to UN peace keeping and peace enforcement missions worldwide, the Irish Defence Forces have recently dramatically expanded their international intelligence presence abroad. In the wake of 9/11, Ireland’s Military Intelligence Directorate was expanded in order to assess emerging threats to the state – both external and internal – posed by global terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda. As an independent state agency, Ireland’s military intelligence are focused on long term trends within the global security environment across a broad spectrum of threats, from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation to the activities, intentions and capabilities of extremist resistance groups and organised criminal gangs. Ireland’s transition to its new-found status as a formidable military intelligence ‘player’ on the international scene has been facilitated by decades of experience in intelligence operations gained during the troubles along with over forty years of UN service - predominantly to flashpoints in Africa and the Middle East. Currently, Ireland has Defence Forces personnel engaged in an intelligence capacity in countries as diverse as Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire and Sudan in Africa along with officers placed in key appointments in countries throughout the Middle East including Lebanon, Israel and Syria.
Clonan, T., 2006: Irish Intelligence Staff Work From Kosovo To Kabul, Dublin: The Irish Times.