The Daily Telegraph

IRA is lur­ing young re­cruits as threat re­mains, MPS warn

- By Danielle Sheri­dan Terrorism · Society · Politics · Metropolitan Police Service · Republican Party (United States) · Dominican Republic · Northern Ireland · Ireland · MI5 · Police Service of Northern Ireland · The Police

THE IRA is re­cruit­ing “sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of young peo­ple” and the threat from dis­si­dent Repub­li­cans has “clearly not de­creased”, a report has found.

In the report, North­ern Ire­landRe­lated Ter­ror­ism, the Com­mons in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity com­mit­tee found that Dis­si­dent Repub­li­can (DR) groups ap­peared “to con­tinue to re­cruit new mem­bers to their cause, in­clud­ing sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of young peo­ple”.

It says: “While re­cruit­ment may not be com­pa­ra­ble with lev­els seen be­fore the Good Fri­day Agree­ment, and ap­pears to be lim­ited to par­tic­u­lar ar­eas in North­ern Ire­land, there are nev­er­the­less very young peo­ple in­volved in at­tacks”, the report said.

The MPS warned that it re­mained “clear that the threat from DR groups will con­tinue to en­dure as long as they of­fer an ap­peal­ing, or al­ter­na­tive, ‘brand’ for new gen­er­a­tions”.

The report also cau­tioned that “any in­fras­truc­ture erected at the Irish bor­der to han­dle cus­toms or se­cu­rity checks would im­me­di­ately be­come a tar­get for DR at­tacks” and said such in­fras­truc­ture would be used by the groups as a “re­cruit­ing tool”.

“The num­ber of at­tacks in 2019 demon­strates that the main DR groups are re­silient, and re­tain both the in­tent and ca­pa­bil­ity to cause se­ri­ous dam­age,” the MPS’ report said.

It added that MI5 said “that the ‘new IRA’ has rep­re­sented the main dis­si­dent threat for a num­ber of years” and that MI5 con­sid­ers that the “‘new IRA’ could be­come a still more dan­ger­ous threat”.

The Po­lice Ser­vice of North­ern Ire­land has been forced to make a se­ries of bud­get sav­ings over re­cent years while main­tain­ing com­mu­nity polic­ing, tar­get­ing con­tem­po­rary ter­ror­ism and in­ves­ti­gat­ing killings dur­ing the con­flict. Rank and file po­lice have ar­gued pre­vi­ously that the ser­vice needs more of­fi­cers to com­bat the se­ri­ous threat posed by rene­gade paramil­i­taries more than 20 years af­ter the Good Fri­day Agree­ment.

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