Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Dissidents' terror campaign can’t succeed

The Real IRA and Oglaigh na hEireann have put themselves in the headlines recently by exploding bombs in Newry, Holywood and Newtownhamilton.

So many of their devices have failed to detonate.

Over a period of years it has been hit and miss — and mainly miss.

But those recent “successes” have suggested new expertise and more know-how, and maybe some help from some who once operated inside the ranks of the mainstream IRA.

“That’s a smaller world,” a republican commented, meaning the world of bomb-making and what is called “engineering expertise”.

And there is confidence within republicanism that none of the IRA’s “experts” have “gone over to them (the dissidents)” — not since the original split that gave birth to the Real IRA more than a decade ago.

In that “small world”, if someone were helping, then they would be quickly found out.

Those who were part of the IRA war watch the dissidents every bit as closely as the security forces.

They have to — to know the threat that exists.

The Storey assessment written for An Phoblacht — and intended to be read across the republican community — is clear.

Republicans who were part of the IRA campaign believe the dissident threat and bomb-making capability are “exaggerated”, that these organisations are heavily infiltrated and that there are all sorts of puppets and strings in play.

That does not mean these groups cannot kill. They have, and they will try again.

It means they cannot sustain and win a war.

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