Ireland has called for a co-ordinated push in the EU to crack down on terrorism and organised crime, following a decision with Britain to share intelligence on selected flights.
Advance Passenger Information (API) from all ports should be shared across Europe, which, according to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, ‘is a tool of proven potential’.
It has been indicated through military intelligence and information supplied to the British Government by the Garda Special Branch that Ireland has been used as a base for regular visits to Iraq and Syria by up to 30 jihadis, which has led to increased surveillance efforts in a bid to track their movements.
The minister said that the strengthening of security of national and international borders was a ‘key element in protecting our citizens from terrorist threats’ and that API exchange was a ‘major boost towards achieving that objective’.
API is transmitted electronically to the governments and border agencies of destination countries. It is usually collected at the time of booking. The U.S. operate mandatory API collection, but as yet, the system is not mandatory in other countries, although many agencies are calling for the collection of passenger data across the world to keep borders secure with the advance notification of potentially high-risk passengers.