“there has been no diminution of activity…”

I’m not entirely sure that it’s ‘news’ as such, given what we already know, but the BBC reports

Police sources have said the community response and appeals to dissidents to end their violence have had no impact.

A source said intelligence information suggested dissidents have continued to target officers since Mr Kerr was killed on Saturday.

“There is nothing to suggest a lessening of operational tempo, there has been no diminution of activity,” the source said.

Meanwhile, a “long and complex operation” is underway in Newry as British Army bomb experts continue to examine a suspicious van abandoned at an underpass on Thursday night.  The Belfast to Dublin road is closed in the area, as is the Newry to Dundalk rail link.

And, from the UTV report

Meanwhile, two alerts in Lurgan have both been declared hoaxes.

A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious device discovered at the gates of a school of St Paul’s Junior High School in Francis Street in Lurgan on Friday morning.

A number of homes were evacuated.

A controlled explosion was also carried out on a suspicious object in the Castle Lane Mews area of the town.

Additionally, according to the RTÉ report

Elsewhere, the PSNI is responding to two security alerts around Strabane in C Tyrone.

One is near the town’s police station and another on the Strabane to Omagh road.

Adds  This, on the other hand, is ‘news’

In a further development, it has emerged that, just 24 hours before the fatal car bomb blast in Omagh, police had ordered a specialist team of detectives to begin sifting through evidence from historic dissident attacks in a bid ramp up the pressure on the terrorists.

The cold case review will see exhibits analysed using the latest fingerprint recognition technology and Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA forensic techniques.

The team’s work is being funded directly by the additional £245m (€277.4m) secured by the PSNI from the Treasury and Stormont Executive to tackle the dissident threat.

High-ranking security sources revealed the additional investigative tactic against the wider dissident movement as two men arrested on suspicion of Pc Kerr’s murder continued to be questioned.

The review will examine specific crimes detectives believe may have involved present-day dissidents.

While the specialist detectives will probe crimes dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, the principal focus will be on a series of incidents around the turn of the 21st century. [added emphasis]

It is understood one is the Real IRA murder of a civilian building contractor at an Army base in Limavady, Co Derry, in 2002.

David Caldwell, 51, died when he picked up a booby-trap bomb hidden in a lunchbox at the TA base.

However, the team will not confine its work to terror acts and every facet of suspected dissidents affairs will be examined, from past financial dealings to potential involvement in other crimes.

“We hope to engender a state of paranoia among the dissidents,” said another police source.

“Make their lives as uncomfortable as possible.”

, , , , , , , ,

  • Pete Baker

    Adds This, on the other hand, is ‘news’

    In a further development, it has emerged that, just 24 hours before the fatal car bomb blast in Omagh, police had ordered a specialist team of detectives to begin sifting through evidence from historic dissident attacks in a bid ramp up the pressure on the terrorists.

    The cold case review will see exhibits analysed using the latest fingerprint recognition technology and Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA forensic techniques.

    The team’s work is being funded directly by the additional £245m (€277.4m) secured by the PSNI from the Treasury and Stormont Executive to tackle the dissident threat.

    High-ranking security sources revealed the additional investigative tactic against the wider dissident movement as two men arrested on suspicion of Pc Kerr’s murder continued to be questioned.

    The review will examine specific crimes detectives believe may have involved present-day dissidents.

    While the specialist detectives will probe crimes dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, the principal focus will be on a series of incidents around the turn of the 21st century.

    It is understood one is the Real IRA murder of a civilian building contractor at an Army base in Limavady, Co Derry, in 2002.

    David Caldwell, 51, died when he picked up a booby-trap bomb hidden in a lunchbox at the TA base.

    However, the team will not confine its work to terror acts and every facet of suspected dissidents affairs will be examined, from past financial dealings to potential involvement in other crimes.

    “We hope to engender a state of paranoia among the dissidents,” said another police source.

    “Make their lives as uncomfortable as possible.”

  • lamhdearg

    Better than stop and search. Qi pete.

  • Pete Baker

    lamhdearg

    The questions to ask are – how have they identified those “specific crimes detectives believe may have involved present-day dissidents”?

    And what happens when the re-examination of “crimes dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, or indeed “around the turn of the 21st century”, points to someone other than those currently involved in terrorist activity…?

  • Alf

    “And what happens when the re-examination of “crimes dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, or indeed “around the turn of the 21st century”, points to someone other than those currently involved in terrorist activity…?”

    Pete,

    Then we will find out if certain sections of the terrorist community are being protected from prosecution.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, consider then a situation in which the re-examination of a “specific” crime “dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, or indeed “around the turn of the 21st century”, points to both those currently involved in terrorist activity… and those no longer involved…?

  • Alf

    “Well, consider then a situation in which the re-examination of a “specific” crime “dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, or indeed “around the turn of the 21st century”, points to both those currently involved in terrorist activity… and those no longer involved…?”

    Pete,

    Then we shall have the joy of watching Sinners doing mental and verbal gymnastics.

  • Pete and Alf, as we’re in the realm of speculation, I should imagine that those who’ve had immunity for up to forty years or so are unlikely to have their collars felt; any decisions to proceed with ‘sensitive’ prosecutions would be political ones.

  • Alf

    Nevin,

    Which is very, very wrong.

  • sdelaneys

    alf, “Then we will find out if certain sections of the terrorist community are being protected from prosecution.”

    But that has always been the way with the police covering up serious amounts of, ‘Loyalist’ ,killings in particular not to mention the various dirty jobs carried out by various agents and forces of the British government..

  • Alf

    “But that has always been the way with the police covering up serious amounts of, ‘Loyalist’ ,killings in particular not to mention the various dirty jobs carried out by various agents and forces of the British government.”

    sdelaneys,

    It has certainly always been the way in your imagination.

  • “Police sources have said the community response and appeals to dissidents to end their violence have had no impact.”

    I should imagine that PSNI officers, especially Catholic officers, are being targeted for much the same reason as their RUC and RIC predecessors; it’s a political matter. Former militants who have crossed the Rubicon will be very mindful of their vulnerability.

  • Pete Baker

    Nevin

    “any decisions to proceed with ‘sensitive’ prosecutions would be political ones.”

    And that, as I’ve suggested, could have consequences for the attempts to address the activities of those still involved in terrorist activity…

  • What particular consequences do you have in mind, Pete? Would you not expect the same protocols to be followed as pertained previously?

  • Lionel Hutz

    Surely that’s obvious. The implication is that some of those past crimes could not be investigated as they may have been carried out by a group of people, some of whom are dissidents, sone of whom are not.

  • Brian

    Nevin

    RIC men were killed mainly due to their intelligence gathering zeal, at least until the final brutal stage of the struggle. Many RIC men were caught, disarmed, and let go.

    By late 1920 many RIC who hadn’t retired were not exactly pursuing their duties with prejudice…and they made sure the local IRA brigade knew it.

  • Brian, Ruth Dudley Edwards has just quoted Dan Breen: “the only way of starting a war was to kill someone, and we wanted to start a war, so we intended to kill some of the police”.

    That was one way. Another was to provoke an over-reaction from your opponents and hope that they would be blamed for starting the fight.