Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 August 2015

350 police join hunt for dissident IRA killers

Published 12/03/2009

A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer salutes the coffin of Stephen Paul Carroll as his remains arrive back at his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The PSNI officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists. Several thousand Catholics and Protestants united in a silent protest Wednesday against the Irish Republican Army dissidents who have put Northern Ireland on edge _ and its peace in doubt _ with deadly attacks that have left three dead since the weekend. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer salutes the coffin of Stephen Paul Carroll as his remains arrive back at his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The PSNI officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists. Several thousand Catholics and Protestants united in a silent protest Wednesday against the Irish Republican Army dissidents who have put Northern Ireland on edge _ and its peace in doubt _ with deadly attacks that have left three dead since the weekend. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kate Carroll, the widow of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, reacts as his coffin arrives at their home Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer salutes the coffin of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, as it arrives at his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. Carroll was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kate Carroll The widow of Stephen Paul Carroll reacts as the remains of Stephen arrive back to his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer was gunned down late Monday by the Continuity IRA as he sat in a patrol car. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kate Carroll, the widow of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, reacts as his coffin arrives at their home Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The PSNI officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Loyalist Frankie Gallagher at rally in Belfast
Sinn Fein's Paul Maskey at Belfast rally
16-week-old Finn Johnston outside Belfast's City Hall
Thousands attend peace rally at Belfast City Hall
Thousands gather at Belfast City Hall
The scene at Derry's Guildhall Square during the vigil for peace
Guildhall Square during the vigil for peace
Mayor of Derry is the first to sign the Peace Book in the city's Guildhall, followed by longtime civil rights campaigner Ivan Cooper. The book was opened to the public following the vigil that was held in Guildhall Square
Murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the spot were gunmen fired from, with marked bullet casings on the ground, near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers arrive at the scene of a shooting near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers attend the shooting scene near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the Police Service of Northern Ireland car at the scene of the shooting at Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police Service of Northern Ireland officer at Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde shows his emotions at a press conference after the murder of Stephen Carroll
The shooting is understood to have happened near Lismore High School in Craigavon
Police officers cordon off the area near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10,2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The scene where a PSNI officer has died following a shooting incident in Craigavon, County Armagh
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday,March, 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Flowers at the scene of the fatal shootings outside Massereene army base
Flowers left at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
Flowers are left at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
A field dresing lies in the bloodsoaked road at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
Graffiti daubed on walls in West Belfast by CIRA supporters showed that all is not well in the republican camp and that dissident republicans are not supportive of latest Sinn Fein and IRA moves. This message on the Falls Road in West Belfast was painted over shortly after the picture was taken...
A woman holds back tears during a prayer service for the soldiers killed at Massereene British Army Barracks in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March 8, 2009. Two British soldiers were shot dead late Saturday and four injured by dissident Irish Republican terrorists, the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland since 1997. Its callousness, in targeting soldiers and civilians alike, appeared calculated to inflame community tensions and undermine Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant administration. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The front entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is seen Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
A police officer patrols outside the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Aerial showing Masserene army base and it's front entrance
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
A police officer talks on his phone at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Security at the entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim
Police Forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A security officer patrols the entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police officers patrols at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Local parish members hold a prayer service at Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson speaks to the media in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. The First Minister was giving his views on the deaths of two British soldiers shot late Saturday along with four injured, by dissident Irish Republican terrorists, in the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland since 1997. Its callousness, in targeting soldiers and civilians alike, appeared calculated to inflame community tensions and undermine Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant administration. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Britain's secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward speaks to the media at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A man leaves flowers near Massereene army barracks, in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. Suspected IRA dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men outside a Northern Ireland army base, killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. Police said Sunday the attackers fired on their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A man leaves flowers near Massereene army barracks, in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. Suspected IRA dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men outside a Northern Ireland army base, killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. Police said Sunday the attackers fired on their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Secretary of State Shaun Woodward leaves the Massareen Army Base in Antrim today after meeting colleagues of the murdered soldiers.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Willie McRea at the scene of the attack
First Minister Peter Robinson at the scene of the attack
Representatives from the main churches who arrived at scene to pay respect
Representatives from the main churches who arrived at scene to pay respect
A masked Real IRA , (RIRA), colour party stand over the coffin of murdered dissident republican on 18/10/00
Parishioners pay respect to the families and loved ones of those affected.
Parishioners from the main churches arrived at scene to pay respect to the families and loved ones of those affected.
An abandoned car (believed to be a getaway car) on the Ranaghan Road a few miles from Massereene army base after last night's fatal shootings.
Two cars in a sealed off area outside the entrance to Massereene army base after the fatal shootings.
Forensics team searches the area
.An impromptu multi-denominational prayer services was held this afternoon at the cordon around Massareen Army Base in Antrim in memory of the murdered soldiers and the injured.
.An impromptu multi-denominational prayer services was held this afternoon at the cordon around Massareen Army Base in Antrim in memory of the murdered soldiers and the injured.

The PSNI has deployed 350 officers, supported by MI5 and the Garda, in the operation to catch the dissident republican killers of two soldiers and a PSNI constable, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.





According to a senior source, the scale of the investigation is an indication of the determination to deal with the dissident threat.

The Telegraph can reveal details of the massive police hunt to find the Real IRA gang which killed Sappers Mark Quinsey (23) and Patrick Azimkar (21) at Massereene Army Barracks on Saturday, and the CIRA terrorists who gunned down 48-year-old Constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon on Monday night.

While senior police officers do not believe that the terror groups co-ordinated the two attacks, they do believe that the Craigavon attackers were motivated by the scale and impact of the Army barracks murders.

“One success spurred on the other,” a senior security source told this newspaper.

However, he added there was no suggestion of one group saying to the other: “We’ve got a Saturday spectacular. You get something for Monday.”

The details emerged as PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde was due to meet his Garda counterpart Commissioner Fachtna Murphy in Belfast to assess the security threat posed by dissident republicans.

The number of PSNI officers deployed does not include those involved in undercover surveillance duties.

The weekend killings at the Army barracks in Antrim have been described as a “classic assassination” — demonstrating a degree of training or a degree of experience on the part of the gunmen.

Asked if he believed those gunmen were from the Antrim area, the senior security source said: “No — that wouldn’t be the obvious lead. That wouldn’t be where the investigation is taking us.”

Detectives know the calibre and type of guns used, but they have not revealed the details of their history.

The source said the shooting in Craigavon was “of a different nature” — and it was “careful enough in its execution”.

In August last year, in the same town, dissidents fired four shots at a police cordon. Not a burst, but “four deliberate shots,” a security source said.

The source added that Monday’s attack in which Constable Carroll was murdered was “not a new modus-operandi” from the Continuity IRA.

Now, as part of the investigation, informants and other intelligence sources are being used to help identify the killers.

Dissident republicans are understood to be using eastern Europe and the criminal underworld in Dublin to try to arm their groups.

A security source said there are “guns available at a price”.

In that criminal underworld a Glock 9mm pistol with ammunition and magazines sells at €3,000.

“What is apparent is they [the dissidents] have spent a considerable amount of time around logistics, including cash to purchase,” the senior security source said.

“There is a constant effort on the part of the dissidents to obtain weapons.”

Those working in the intelligence world have a clear picture of the dissident leaderships.

“The leaders are identifiable to us,” the source said.“There are a couple of prominent ones here [in Northern Ireland], [but] the weight of the leadership resides in the south,” he added.

Yesterday a loyalist delegation including PUP MLA Dawn Purvis and former prisoners Billy Hutchinson and Tom Roberts met senior police officers including Sir Hugh Orde.

Ms Purvis — a former member of the Policing Board — said the police were making “good progress” in their investigations.

“They made it clear that they didn’t need to be distracted from that progress — that they needed to focus their energies and efforts on that investigation,” the Stormont politician said.

“Obviously they asked about the mood within loyalism,” she continued, adding that the police were told “there was absolutely, completely and utterly no desire to turn it back to the old days”.

In the past, loyalists have said the dissident republican threat is one of the reasons for lack of progress on the arms issue.

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph