Renegade republican terrorists 'a serious threat'
THE increased threat posed by violent dissident republicans is highlighted in the latest report from the Independent Monitoring Commission.
The Real IRA was responsible for a firebomb campaign against six DIY stores in Newry, Co Down, and other shops across the North in October and November of last year.
This group was also involved in a mortar attack on Craigavon police station and a shooting incident, yesterday's report said.
The commissioners said a year ago they revealed a breakaway group from the Continuity IRA, Oglaigh na hEireann, and said this organisation - named OHN - had been trying to recruit Real IRA members.
This organisation had become more dangerously active in recent months and had undertaken a 'tiger' kidnapping in the Republic - largely for personal gain.
"We believe it was responsible for two pipe bomb attacks against PSNI officers and premises in September and November and for a bomb which failed to detonate at a Travellers' site in Coalisland in November 2006," the report said.
While the Provisional IRA was said to be continuing to dismantle its paramilitary structures, the Continuity IRA and the INLA were reported to be still involved in terrorist activity.
It was also revealed last night that the Provisional IRA will not be given a deadline to disband by the Irish and British governments.Tanaiste Michael McDowell said imposing a timeframe could be counter-productive.
He argued that a deadline might encourage dissident terror groups to step up a campaign of violence to create problems. But he warned the IRA chiefs they would have to disband their organisation eventually and wind up their business.
Mr McDowell said he was encouraged by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams' call on the public to report crimes to the PSNI and the findings of the International Monitoring Commission that the Provisionals had continued to abandoned terrorism and criminality.
He said this positive assessment, together with Sinn Fein's support for the police and criminal justice system in the North, meant there should be no further delay in the restoration of full devolved government.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the report augured well.
He said he hoped that Sinn Fein would now help in the investigation of criminal activity.
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