Assistant Commissioner McEnroe,
Head of Branch.
Garda HQ, Dublin.
Request for Sanction to Deploy an Undercover Officer
As you are aware, in the past any consideration of deploying undercover officers against criminal gangs or domestic terrorist groups was ruled out on the basis of population size. It was assessed that deploying an undercover Garda in a populace of less than five million people with a unique curiosity about others would expose the said officer to undue risk
of personal injury or worse. Based on the intelligence at hand, I believe the time is right to re-evaluate.
Disinformation refers to the deliberate spread of false information, while misinformation is when someone unwittingly spreads or believes false information to be true. The amplification of either can lead to human rights abuses. Right now, mainstream politics in many Western democracies is tilting towards extreme right-wing viewpoints. As a result, alt-right material proliferates online and Ireland is not immune to its toxic influence.
Garda John Ember joined the squad five months ago and began his two-year probation period as a detective. He
adapted quickly to the demands of surveillance duties. He is diligent and tenacious, demonstrating good judgement on operations to date.
Earlier this week, at his request, I met with him off base. He outlined concerns he had about a group of Gardaí stationed
in Dublin city centre. He knows two members of the group and is aware they refer to themselves as “The Protectors.”
Just what this group claims to be protecting - national identity, Irish culture, pure Irishness (whatever that might be), is
unknown at present. What is clear from what Detective Ember reports is that this affiliation of Garda members clusters around a core of extreme-right-wing viewpoints.
Threat versus risk – The Christchurch Attacks
A threat is a source of potential damage or danger. Risk is determined by assessing the likelihood of a threat occurring
and the seriousness of the consequences if it does. The more likely the threat occurrence, and the more severe the likely consequences, the greater the risk.
You will be familiar with the known details of the murderous attacks carried out in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15
March this year. The details shared by our antipodean colleagues to-date indicate some opportunities were missed to
pick up on the suspect’s preparation for the attack over the period he lived in the country. To my knowledge, there was no prior warning that such a terrorist attack, driven by an extreme right-wing Islamophobic ideology was likely in New Zealand. Based on Detective Ember's recent intelligence, I am concerned that the Force may have an extremist problem festering right under our noses.
At this point, I have discussed the matter with Detective Inspector Rooney only. We are in agreement that our usual surveillance operation would be unlikely to yield results in this case. After due deliberation, we concluded that deploying
an undercover officer in this particular scenario to identify members of the group and assess their aims is the only approach likely to yield a positive outcome.
With your sanction, my proposed action plan is as follows:
Activate the deployment distraction operation devised by D/I Rooney to return Detective Ember to a city centre station.
Revert Detective Ember to uniform section.
Deploy Detective Angie Harrington as Detective Ember’s handler while he works undercover.
Move Detective Ember from his current address to a new apartment. We pay.
Insulate knowledge of the operation to the core five-person group featured in this report.
I am concerned that unchecked, extreme alt-right indoctrination could spawn unpredictable and negative consequences for the Force. The time to act is now.
Forwarded for your consideration and decision.
30 April 2019
Approved, subject to daily report.
R. McEnroe A/Commr.