A question of politics or criminality?

More awkward questions for the Republican movement, this time from Boston:If it is committed to its stated intention to end military operations, then why is it still planning and pulling off robberies, especially of such magnitude?

Crime specialists say the question underscores the need for the PSNI to alter its approach to the IRA and other paramilitary organizations involved in the 30-year sectarian conflict. In this view, the police need to confront the IRA less as a terrorist organization and more as a Mafia family.

In the twilight era between the end of the conflict and the halting steps toward a future built around a power-sharing government for Catholics and Protestants, the IRA seems to have carved a new path. But critics say the PSNI has been slower to find its way.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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