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Dissident Republicans ‘no closer to attacking Britain’

Police say the threat of a serious terrorist attack in Britain remains unlikely

DISSIDENT REPUBLICANS are no closer to launching an attack in Britain despite recent arrests made in Scotland under the Terrorism Act, a security source has suggested.

Police Scotland reported the arrest of several people suspected of committing various offences in relation to dissident Republicanism.

The arrests were made at a number of locations under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

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In a statement, Police Scotland said: “The policing operation, which also involved the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the security service, has been focused on the activities of individuals sympathetic to dissident Republicanism but who are not affiliated to any specific group.”

But while admitting that arrests for suspected dissident activity were a development, a source suggested that the threat of a serious terrorist attack in Britain remains unlikely because dissidents are without necessary materials, personnel and support.

“It is still widely accepted that Republican dissidents do not have the logistics to carry out an attack in Britain, in terms of transport, weapons, support base, safe houses etc,” the source explained.

“Their field of munitions is limited and there are very few new weapons appearing. There is residue from decommissioning. There is always a certain amount held back, but not enough in terms of high-grade explosives.”

The source also suggested there was no pattern to suggest Scotland was the preferred entry point for dissidents to launch attacks in Britain and dismissed the notion that dissident groups would have the capability of carrying out an attack in Britain to coincide with 1916 centenary celebrations.

“They are being monitored so closely that it is seriously limiting their capabilities.”

Police Scotland would not reveal whether those arrested were from the Republic or the North of Ireland and declined to confirm the number of people arrested.


Robert Mulhern

Robert is a freelance news and sports journalist. He is also the author of A Very Different County and creator/producer of Sex, Flights and Videotapes for RTE's Doc on One. Follow him @MulhernRobert on Twitter

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