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Dissident terrorists trying to get noticed at a tense time

The dissidents are playing at two levels — playing in this tense time of year and playing to get noticed.

In this period of parading they have tried to march themselves onstage.

The PSNI have no doubt that the latest bomb in south Armagh was meant for them — meant to kill officers.

You can see what was intended in that crater on the road between Belleeks and Cullyhanna.

And across the border, another dissident plot was interrupted and arrests made.

When you look at dissident activity, it is not just about what they are doing, but when they do it.

They try to make things happen at key moments in the political process and at difficult moments on the streets.

Those are the two levels of activity — bombs designed to kill police officers, and placing themselves in interface confrontations and those places where protests meet parades.

The bomb at Palace Barracks was timed to coincide with the devolution of policing and justice powers.

And these latest moves by the dissidents will be about trying to step into the news and into the headlines in this period of the Twelfth. It is about getting them noticed.

There are the usual concerns about the march past Ardoyne today — concerns that the dissidents might well try to play in that difficult situation.

It is all part of the mix — bombs one day, street violence the next.

Belfast Telegraph