In short, the threat posed by dissident Republican groups is evolving, and probably for the worse. Their activity has increased. Their recruitment efforts continue to expand. Many of these new recruits belong to a different generation from their forerunners. They weren't even born at the time of the 1994 Provisional IRA cease-fire, and some of the older members are senior ex-IRA members who bring much needed political acumen, as well as expertise in bomb-making, recruitment, training and targeting.
Their activities span the country, north and south, with mostly urban concentrations in Belfast, Derry, Dublin and Limerick. There is increasing evidence of training and recruitment in the Irish Republic, with evidence for some logistical support appearing in England.
True, they don't have the kind of support once enjoyed by the Provisional IRA. But the dissidents don't just acknowledge their lack of popular support. They embrace it. They revel in their "noble isolation."
Terrorism analysts have come to associate this particularly dangerous kind of thinking with Islamist terrorist groups, not Irish Republicans. Yet Ireland's newest dissidents are a different breed and pose new threats.
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