The targeting of a part-time female officer with a firebomb-style device will horrify even the most hardened of republicans.
The PSNI say they believe the so-called New IRA may have been responsible for leaving the bomb at the home of the young woman.
The organisation has been limping along since the arrests of the alleged leadership of the terror group in August last year.
The infiltration of the organisation by MI5 agent Denis McFadden left the paramilitary group with just the Derry leadership still intact.
Weapons seizures, high profile arrests and a mysterious fire in west Belfast wiped about almost all the guns and ammunition owned by the organisation in the city.
This has them struggling for relevance.
The paramilitary group's two experienced bomb makers, who came from the ranks of the Provisionals, are currently behind bars.
As a result the device used to target the young mother was not typical of what the New IRA would have used in the past.
Instead it was a crudely made-up bomb, designed to create a fireball when triggered by a pressure mat under the rear wheel of the woman's car.
The target of the firebomb was a PSNI civilian worker and part time-community officer.
She is the mother of a three-year-old child who was at home at the time.
Police say the device was positioned close to the toddler's car seat.
Had the bomb gone off the carnage it would have caused would have been unimaginable.
It is clear that the officer had been under surveillance for some time prior to the attack.
The rural area where her car was parked would not have been easily accessed by the bombers, they'd have known she was a community officer, not involved in security work and the softest of soft targets.
The bomb was discovered yesterday morning by the women, less than 24 hours after tributes were being paid to the New IRA's last female victim, Lyra McKee, who was shot dead during disturbances in Derry two years ago.
In a month when all eyes have been on loyalist violence on the streets of Northern Ireland, this action takes the focus directly back to the dissidents.
The questionable timing, the methods used, the disregard for the life of a mother and child, shows an organisation so desperate to try and claw back some type of relevance that they are willing to emulate tactics more associated with the worst of Isis.
The condemnation of the attack from political leaders was unequivocal, the disgust at the details of what had been planned will have horrified those living in the tight-knit community. And what it once again highlights is the very real obstacles that exist in recruiting not just members of the nationalist community but women into the PSNI while they remain under such serious threat.
The New IRA may be without a leadership, paranoid at the high level of infiltration and deplete of any significant weaponry. But what this attack has shown is armed with a container of flammable liquid and a membership mad enough to take the life of a woman and potentially her toddler, they can still instil fear on those they place in their crosshairs.