Analysis

UK/Ireland: IRA Splinter Groups Threaten London Olympics
IRA splinter group member Brian Shivers arrives at a Northern Ireland courthouse on January 20, 2012. Shivers was found guilty of killing two policemen who were ambushed by gunmen from the Real IRA splinter group outside their barracks in Antrim, Northern Ireland in March 2009. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)
January 25, 2012
| Security
| Europe
Summary
Recent bombings in Northern Ireland continue a trend of attacks by dissident IRA groups that began in 2008. According to UK security reports, these splinter groups – which reject the IRA’s 2005 decision to disarm – are getting better at recruitment and are becoming a significant security threat, so much so that they now pose a risk for the 2012 summer Olympics, which will be held in London. In an exclusive interview with LIGNET’s London office, IRA expert Dr. Martyn Frampton explains why IRA dissidents have returned to violence.

An IRA splinter group is believed to have executed attacks in the Northern Ireland town of Londonderry on January 19.  One bomb exploded near police headquarters, the other at the town’s tourist office.  No injuries were reported since police received a call prior to the explosions and were able to evacuate area businesses and residences before the bombs went off.  IRA dissidents were also blamed for the October 2011 bombing of government offices in Londonderry.  These bombings are just the most recent in a surge of attacks that have included car bombs, pipe bombs and drive-by shootings against government offices and police.

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