13th IMC report published

The thirteenth IMC report has been published online, slightly ahead of the scheduled press conference. pdf file available here Added belowAs the report acknowledges

1.3 In line with Article 4, this report covers the activities of all paramilitary groups, not just PIRA, although we recognise that it is PIRA which is likely to be the main focus of attention in present circumstances.

The report covers three months from 1 September to 30 November 2006. Given the current political situation the obvious section that will receive immediate scrutiny is that of PIRA activity –

2.16 There have been a number of developments in the three months under review. Taking the main issues in turn:

– Terrorist activity – PIRA has not been involved either in incidents (such as attacks on the security forces) or preparatory acts (such as recruitment, training, weapons procurement and development, or targeting). The disbandment of paramilitary structures to which we referred last time and the absence of activity means that the deterioration of terrorist capability continues. Some members who had shown an interest in acquiring small arms for their own purposes appear not to have followed their inclinations through; to do so would have been in clear contravention of instructions. A number of PIRA members have taken up political roles in Sinn Féin in furtherance of the commitment to follow the political path;

– Shootings and assaults – We are satisfied that PIRA has not been responsible for either. This is despite some community pressure to allow violent measures against those thought to be acting antisocially;

– Intelligence gathering – It remains our view that PIRA is not gathering intelligence for paramilitary or other unlawful purposes. It does gather information to support its political strategy and it continues to receive information from sympathisers. Within communities members are sometimes involved in gathering information about alleged criminal or anti-social behaviour but there is no indication that such information is then used for violent or other improper purposes. The organisation continues to gather information about suspected informers or dissidents, but again there is no indication that it has been used to support illegal activity;

– Sectarian violence or intimidation – We do not believe that PIRA has been engaged in any such activity;

– Other forms of crime – PIRA as an organisation continues not to be involved and there are indications that in response to the leadership the involvement of individual members has declined. Nevertheless, some continue to be engaged in crime, including offences such as smuggling, fuel laundering and tax evasion. Such activity is now contrary to the policy of the organisation;

– Exiling – We do not think that PIRA has been involved. Its approach has significantly changed for the better in the past few months. While the organisation has not positively invited people to return to Northern Ireland some have recently done so and we believe that PIRA has neither directed nor sanctioned reprisals in such circumstances;

– Fund raising – There is no indication that PIRA is using criminal methods to raise funds, although it continues to seek and receive contributions towards wider social, political and cultural activities through lawful means. As before, we are unable to assess how it is handling the question of previously illegally gained funds. However the law enforcement agencies North and South continue actively to pursue such assets.

The report also states

2.21 Our overall view therefore remains positive, as it was when we reported three months ago. The strategy of pursuing the political path is clear, as in our view is the commitment of the leadership to it. We have seen additional evidence of the trends we noted before, including the continuing efforts of the leadership to ensure its successful implementation of the strategy. We have also seen evidence of its further consolidation, most notably the decision to support policing and the criminal justice system.

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  • Yokel

    In summary:

    Quiet

    Most guns silent and/or out of way

    Some guns we’d like to see handed in mind you

    A few bad apples out there I can tell ya but mainly nice people

    Freaks on the fringes, tsk, will they ever learn.

    Sunny spells but cold.

  • Mick Fealty

    Interesting that exiling has only just stopped. The last report was strangely short of detail on that particular issue.

  • Ingram

    Yokel,

    agreed but this little nugget was tucked away in a dark corner:

    quote It is not acceptable for any political party, and in particular for the leadership, to express commitment to democratic politics and the rule of law if they do not live up to those statements and do all in their power to ensure that those in a position to influence do the same unquote

    That sentence is important. Last night on this board Chris Gaskin one of our resident Sinn Fein bloggers said that Adams had not comitted himself to advising the public to report ALL criminal activity to the police?

    It seems the IMC do not agree. A comittment to the British rule of law is what is expected and required.

    Ding Ding

    Ingram

  • Paul

    Just watched the live coverage on SKY and I think this grouping are a joke, how and ever they are sanctioned by both governments and I find this point very strange. On the dissident Republican side the commission recognise 3 active groups Oglaigh na hEireann, CIRA and RIRA. Now i know that there have been several splits within these groups but I wasnt aware of an OnE and a Real IRA. Also the Commission (who are endorsed by both governments) seems to be officially recognising a group called Oglaigh na hEireann even though this is the title of the official legitimate army of Ireland or Irish Defence Forces. Im sure this issue would cause some problems in court cases. Is Oglaigh na hEireann an illegal group or not.

  • Henry94

    It is going to be very hard for anybody to seriously oppose power-sharing on the bais of this report. Notwithstanding the straw-clutching the pressure is now on the DUP to deliver.

    In fairness I think they will.

  • Yokel

    Mr Ingram

    The DUP have got their lil bit then and it suggests that the government themselves take the view that SF need to come up to a mark of some sort.

    Anyone who believes there will be UDA or UVF disbandment or indeed decommisoning right now may forget it. For a start I’m not sure how the UDA could organisation themselves as a single entity to make it happen.

    The UVF have made it clear that they are watching in case a Plan B that looks like joint authority appears on the scene. Though thats unlikely its their excuse for sitting still.

    Some loyalists are also too busy trying to shift their money into legal business activities and that process isnt complete.

  • Yokel

    Henry

    I have little doubt the DUP will move to power sharing, the question is timing.

    This report, however, adds nothing whatsoever in terms of pressure to the DUP. They have set out their broad position emphasising the proof idea and this report could never be set against that. As you know, the prime issue for both SF & DUP is their own electorates.

  • Pete Baker

    Yokel

    Given the reference in the report to “some [PIRA members] continue to be engaged in crime, including offences such as smuggling, fuel laundering and tax evasion.”

    Adams’ statement on policing yesterday

    “..if there are crimes against the people, against citizens, Sinn Fein will be urging and encouraging victims and citizens to co-operate with the police.”

    should, perhaps, be looked at in a different light.

  • Henry94

    Pete

    At least finish the quotation

    Such activity is now contrary to the policy of the organisation;

    In the spirit of the Ard Fheis motion I urge the IMC to give any evidence it has of such activity, to the PSNI.

  • Yokel

    Well indeed those are not crimes against the citizen really are they…..

    I bet Gordon Brown is cheesed off though, he’s big on clamping down on that kind of thing.

  • Yokel

    You mean give it back to the cops who gave it to them………

  • Rooster

    Pete, the statement from Adams refers to crimes against citizens, but deliberately omits the other part of that pairing i.e. the state. The statement is “unequivocal” alright – but only about what it actually refers to.

  • Reader

    Quoting Adams: ..if there are crimes against the people, against citizens, Sinn Fein will be urging and encouraging victims and citizens to co-operate with the police.
    Whereas crimes against the state and excheqer are still covered by omerta.
    Also, if “the people” are just the citizens, are Brits and (other) foreigners protected?
    If the Republican movement don’t recognise crimes against the exchequer and public finance, are they fit to run government departments?

  • middle-class taig

    Who cares?

    Irrelevant stooge-fest.

  • Henry94

    Reader

    A guy walking his dog is unlikely to be a witness to crimes against public finance. They have little to do with the issue of public support for policing and are not what the police on the beat are concerned with.

    It is quite appalling that so many people want to turn this historical development into a game of hypothetical “gotcha” against republicans.

    What would you do if you saw your mother buying some smuggled cigarettes? If you don’t answer “call the police” then the people you vote for can’t be in government.

    It is ludicrous.

  • Rooster

    Reader, politicians speak in code. Gerry has to leave himself an ‘out’ here. He has not said that republicans should report other republicans – and for good reason. Read it again with Gerry’s political dilemma in mind – and note that hairs are not split unless they need to be. In this case the ‘hair’ being ‘ALL crimes.’

    By the way, that hair is already split on the issue of the PNSI and MI5’s role – with the latter exclusively dealing with threats against the state, and the former dealing with threats against the individual ‘citizen,’ not the state. Do you to see the applicable political distinction now?

  • Reader

    Henry94: What would you do if you saw your mother buying some smuggled cigarettes? If you don’t answer “call the police” then the people you vote for can’t be in government.
    The police normally resolve peoples qualms over this sort of issue by arresting the seller instead – whether its smuggled cigarettes, drugs, or counterfeit drugs. So it’s no big deal to me.
    But – even hypothetically – my mum is not aiming to run a government department with a budget of hundreds of millions of pounds, nor does she aim to be justice minister. Remember – Sinn Fein are trying to claim that they are fit for Government. That’s the point about being on the inside of government – no more green light for benefit cheats, tax evasion, counterfeiting, fraud, just because the perp wears the right lapel badge.

  • Reader

    Oops, typo: counterfeit drugs -> counterfeit DVDs

  • David

    The IMC must take us for absolute mugs. Just because it suits Blairs agenda we are told that PIRA are whiter than white. This is a joke. The provos have not changed and probably never will. Notice how Loyalists are always bad and provos are always choirboys.
    Give us credit for some intelligence. There is good and bad on both sides. Painting one side as pure good at the others expense reduces this so called peace process to farce.