“the specialist detectives will probe crimes dating back to the 1980s and 1990s…”

This is worth flagging up again, just in case you missed the late Friday afternoon media briefing by “high-ranking security sources”…

The PSNI have set up a “specialist team of detectives” to re-examine “specific” crimes, “dating back to the 1980s and 1990s” as well as “a series of incidents around the turn of the 21st century”, which “detectives believe may have involved present-day dissidents.” [added link]

From the breakingnews.ie report

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.”

And a reminder of Martyn Frampton’s report – “The Return of the Militants”.