Britain braces itself for fresh Republican campaign?

Following up on a front page story in the Observer yesterday, the Guardian has discovered that MI5 has raised the threat of violence from Republican paramilitary groups to “substantial” – one category below the perceived threat from Islamist groups linked to, or inspired by, al-Qaida.

  • twinkilcooleywithcoxsdemesne

    A case of going back to what you do best?

    When the military wing of Irish Republicanism was off ceasefire, it engaged in murder, extortion and robbery with relative impunity.

    The “peace process” of course, has begun to muddy the waters just a little….and one senses that over the past ten years the vestiges of schizophrenia have begun to creep into a movement that has two heads, but that has constantly been engaged in a process of self denial regarding such.

    What better way to remind themselves, and us, of who they are, by going back to “war.” And, lo and behold, who better to come along and pull us back from the brink……you guessed it, Uncle Gerry and Uncle Martin.

    A bombing campaign by Republicans of any sort (and lets face it does anybody really believe that the the so called dissidents are capable of such?) would represent nothing more than a last roll of the dice, a desperate face saving measure by an organisation that has already, through its own actions donned Paisley’s sack cloth and ashes.

    The risks associated with such a campaign would be enormous both politically and, not least, because one suspects that the clampdown following such a mainland campaign would be as aggresive as that that was wagered against the “Real IRA” post Omagh. A case of going out with a bang…

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    This is part of the same ‘intelligence’ service which informed us that Iraq possessed WMDs….

    Why should anything they say about anything? This is merely a ploy to distract people in the UK from the utter mess being made of the northern peace process by the British government.

    Any body with any reasonable intelligence will know that republicans are not going back to armed struggle.

  • slackjaw

    ‘one category below the perceived threat from Islamist groups linked to, or inspired by, al-Qaida.’

    And in which category does one place the perceived threat from al-Qaida itself, as opposed to its imitators and affiliates?

    The Provisional IRA really exists. By placing it in the same threat severity league table ‘as Islamist groups linked to, or inspired by, al-Qaida.’, one of the objectives must be to concretize for the British public the idea of al-Qaida as a singular entity, and a singular threat.

    Furthermore, surely there should be some Irish Republican dissident groups who pose a greater threat than some ‘Islamist groups linked to, or inspired by, al-Qaida’, and vice-versa? Why is this not reflected in MI5’s warnings?

  • Circles

    In the big public opinion political poker game thats going on at the minute it looks like the “intelligence” services are upping the stakes.

    It seems like by saying they are going to do something, pressure is being put on “republican groups” to do nothing – which is exactly what they (IRA) were most likely planning anyway, whilst they (RIRA, CIRA) could be dreaming up absolutely anything. Such a blanket statement is a load of old nonsense, and anyone buying into this really does need their heads examined.

  • DaithiO

    “Britain braces itself for fresh Republican campaign?”

    This is laughable !

    The PIRA has done NOTHING to suggest it’s ceasefire and its commitment to the peace process is over. This is clearly a part of a choreographed series of steps to undermine SF’s electoral strength. The next step is all too predictable.

    Why this concerted effort ? That’s the real question.

  • fair_deal

    In the present circumstances I know this announcement will have lots of spin on it from both sides. However, I simply few it as intelligence services who got badly stung over their failure to predict or prevent the Canary Wharf bomb adopting a belt and braces approach this time around.

    The vagueness of the PIRA statement “Do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation” probably is a big contributor.

  • Circles

    Maybe just cautiousness fair_deal – but a wee news leak in the week before Easter certainly does serve to up the political pressure.

    Which (IMHO) is not the job of either the intelligence community nor the police force. I see this as another attempt to keep the spotlight shining firmly on republicans for political reasons, and tryng to draw justification from a 3 month old statement from P. O’Neil isn’t really convincing.