Special Detective Unit
The Special Detective Unit (SDU) is a unit of an Garda Síochána
Garda Síochána
, more commonly referred to as the Gardaí , is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.- Terminology :...

 under its Crime & Security Branch. They are a replacement for the older Special Branch
Special Branch
Special Branch is a label customarily used to identify units responsible for matters of national security in British and Commonwealth police forces, as well as in the Royal Thai Police...

 unit, which itself replaced the CID
Criminal Investigation Department (Ireland)
The Criminal Investigation Department in the Irish Free State was an armed, plain-clothed counter-insurgency police unit that operated during the Irish Civil War. It was organised separately from the unarmed Civic Guard police force...

 in 1923. It operates from its base in Harcourt Street in Dublin.

The Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU)
Emergency Response Unit (Garda)
The Emergency Response Unit of the Garda Síochána is a specialist armed intervention unit under the Special Detective Unit, formed to deal with situations that cannot be handled by regular Garda officers.-History:...

 is a sub-division of the SDU.


SDU officers have been conducting operations alongside the Irish Army's G2 and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in arresting suspected Irish Muslim radicals for using Ireland as a safe haven for Al Qaeda terrorists. The Special Detective Unit was involved in heightened security efforts ahead of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's visit to Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, fearing retaliation from al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 operatives in response to the death of Osama bin Laden
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

. The agency was also involved in the arrest of several Muslims in Cork
Cork, Ireland
Cork, Ireland is a term which may refer to the following places in southern Ireland, depending on context.* Cork * Barony of Cork City* County Cork* Metropolitan Cork* Greater Cork...

 suspected of plotting to assassinate Swedish
Swedes are a Scandinavian nation and ethnic group native to Sweden, mostly inhabiting Sweden and the other Nordic countries, with descendants living in a number of countries.-Etymology:...

 cartoonist Lars Vilks
Lars Vilks
Lars Endel Roger Vilks is a Swedish artist. He is best known for his drawings of Muhammed, prophet of Islam.- Personal background :...

 in response to an al-Qaeda in Iraq
Al-Qaeda in Iraq
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a popular name for the Iraqi division of the international Salafi jihadi militant organization al-Qaeda. It is recognized as a part of the greater Iraqi insurgency....

 bounty, working with the FBI and CIA.


Their responsibilities include counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

, providing an armed response to incidents, protection of the State, protection of cash shipments, monitoring the activities of subversive and extremist groups, protection of VIPs and operation of the Witness Security Program.

The SDU is also charged with Presidential Protection, and as such accompanies the President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

 on official visits in Ireland and Internationally. The President's security detail comprises a large number of women officers compared to other country's Presidential Protection Details. For a national Presidential visit, a motorcade consists of the Presidential limousine, a Garda SDU follow-up car, and a staff car. Such motorcades usually involve the Garda Traffic Corps, who provide motorcycle support.

On Foreign visits, the President is accompanied by a small security detail consisting of at least 2 officers. The state security forces of the host territory provide principal security, while Garda SDU officers operate as the Personal Protection team.
For instance, on a typical visit to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 (part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

), the PSNI
Police Service of Northern Ireland
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is the police force that serves Northern Ireland. It is the successor to the Royal Ulster Constabulary which, in turn, was the successor to the Royal Irish Constabulary in Northern Ireland....

Close Protection Unit would provide perimeter security for the Presidential group, advance security checks of locations to be visited by the President, and provide a fleet of armoured vehicles for use by the President and entourage.

External links

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