The Daily Telegraph
IRA is luring young recruits as threat remains, MPS warn
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.