DISSIDENTI, ARMI E DROGA
Secondo un articolo apparso sull’Independent, i dissidenti repubblicani sarebbero coinvolti in un crescente commercio transfrontaliero di stupefacenti e di armi con le organizzazioni criminali di Dublino.
I dissidenti avrebbero stretto legami con le organizzazioni del sud impegnate nel traffico di stupefacenti a Dublino, fornendo loro un numero sempre crescente di pipe-bomb per cifre pari a € 30.000. Gli ordigni fabbricati dai dissidenti avrebbero raggiunto un alto livello di sofisticazione con grande preoccupazione delle forze di sicurezza di entrambo i lati del confine.
Diversi sono i dissidente già in carcere o in attesa di giudizio, legati allo spaccio di droga, e alcuni spacciatori sono stati reclusi nelle ali delle carceri destinate ai dissidenti.
Secondo fonti repubblicane nel Nord, i dissidenti sia di Derry che di Belfast, sono coinvolti nel traffico di stupefacenti e in estorsioni di denaro. I dissidenti di Belfast avrebbero allacciato rapporti con ‘ex terroristi lealisti, da lungo tempo coinvolti nel traffico di stupefacenti, e nel contrabbando di droga proveniente dalla Spagna.
Dissidenti membri del Continuity IRA ed al Real IRA, che starebbero in questo modo seguendo quella che, secondo alcuni, sarebbe la nuova strada imboccata del terrorismo repubblicano.
Timore questo, che si va ad aggiungere alle recenti minacce lanciate in materia di parate orangiste, che potrebbero riaccendere pericolosi focolai settari.
Sempre stando a quanto riportato dalla testa giornalista irlandese, il movimento dissidente avrebbe tratto nuova linfa dallo scioglimento, due anni fa, del Provisional IRA, che contro ogni previsione quest’anno ha omesso l’annuale dichiarazione di Pasqua in commemorazione dell’Easter Rising 1916. E’ questo un segnale di qualcosa che sta cambiando? Contrariamente a quanto dichiarato da Sir Hugh Orde, Chief Constable dimissionario del PSNI, l’Indipendent riporta che in risposta ad un calo di partecipazioni alle commemorazioni di Pasqua organizzate dal SinnFein, si sta registrando un aumento delle presenze alle commemorazioni organizzate da gruppi dissidenti, nonostante i partecipanti costituiscano ancora una minoranza. Concludendo con un esempio significativo, fonti provenienti da Tyrone hanno affermato che il numero dei partecipanti alla commemorazione di Pasqua tenuta dal Sinn Fein a Carrickmore, tradizionalmente area di grande sostegno per il partito e il Provisional IRA, è stato tra i più bassi che la memoria ricordi.
Dissident republicans in bomb trade with gangs (Independent)
Southern criminals pay up to €30,000 for supply of increasingly sophisticated pipe bombs, says Jim Cusack
DISSIDENT republicans, who last week threatened the North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, are involved in an increasing cross-border trade in drugs and weapons with Dublin criminals.
The PSNI last month discovered a large consignment of cannabis which had been supplied to west Belfast dissidents by a west Dublin gang with no known republican links, who drove the consignment north.
The dissidents’ links with the drugs trade in Dublin are well established, with republicans supplying increasing numbers of pipe bombs to drugs gangs for sums reported to be as much as €30,000. The bombs made by the dissidents are showing signs of increasing sophistication — a development which is causing alarm to security forces on both sides of the border.
Several figures with dissident links are already in prison or before the courts on drugs-related charges, and a number of imprisoned drug dealers have been accepted into the dissidents’ wings of prisons here and in Northern Ireland.
According to republican sources in the North, the dissidents in both Derry and Belfast are involved in the drugs trade and in extorting money from non-aligned drug dealers. The Belfast dissidents have even teamed up with former loyalist terrorists who have long been involved in the drugs trade, sharing shipments of drugs smuggled in from Spain.
The ‘second-in-command’ of the Continuity IRA in west Belfast is currently facing gun and drug charges. The current ‘officer commanding’ of this group in Belfast is a former joyrider and petty thief who has recently acquired an expensive car and, according to local people, is enjoying a lavish lifestyle. They suspect he is also a police informer. So far, the Continuity and Real IRA in west Belfast have confined their activities to “punishment” shootings of local drug dealers who have refused to pay extortion money, but they have also shot and injured at least two innocent victims.
In Derry, the Real IRA has carried out at least two murders of drug dealers and shot and injured a number of others, including two in Donegal.
The open involvement of the dissidents in the drugs trade is a new development in the world of republican terrorism. In February, the Real IRA in Dublin, a small group composed largely of teenagers and men in their early 20s, shot dead a 21-year-old man, Darren Guerrine, over a small drugs debt.
Although the involvement in drugs is public knowledge in republican areas of the North, the dissident groups still appear to be attracting support. It is understood that a former senior IRA man in the north of the city has transferred his support to the dissidents.
Police in the North suspect that the dissidents are preparing to launch attacks on Orange parades in the North in order to stir up sectarian violence. The Troubles in the North escalated when republicans attacked Orange parades on the Crumlin Road interface between the Catholic Ardoyne and Protestant Shankill areas in 1970.
Over Easter, the traditional start of the loyalist marching season, an Orange bandsman was badly injured during a parade in the County Antrim town of Crumlin when he was hit on the head by a brick thrown at the marchers.
According to republican sources, the rise of the dissidents has accelerated since the Provisional IRA declared itself disbanded two years ago. For the first time this year there was no Provisional IRA ‘Army Council’ statement read out at Sinn Fein-organised Easter Rising commemoration events. It was noted, however, that while numbers appear to be dwindling at the Sinn Fein commemorations, the numbers attending dissident events, though still small, are growing.
Sources in Tyrone said the numbers attending the Sinn Fein-organised Easter commemoration in Carrickmore, traditionally a centre of major support for Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA, were the lowest in local memory.
A veiled threat to Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness came from a Real IRA spokesman wearing a combat jacket and mask who addressed a rally organised by its political wing, the 32-County Sovereignty Committee. Referring to the Deputy First Minister’s condemnation of the dissident killers of the two soldiers and PSNI officer last month as “traitors”, the dissident spokesman said: “Treachery is collaborating with the enemy. Treachery is betraying our country”.
The statement, published in a Sunday newspaper last weekend, also admitted the Real IRA murdered former Sinn Fein member and self-confessed former informant, Denis Donaldson at his holiday home in Donegal in 2006. At the time, gardai suspected that the killing had been carried out by a dissident republican related to a former senior IRA figure who was shot dead by the British Army in the Eighties.
The Real IRA, responsible for the Omagh bombing in 1998, also threatened to expand its terror campaign to targets in Britain. However, in Derry and in Newry, where their main rallies were held, the bulk of their invective was aimed at Sinn Fein. Over the Easter period a petrol bomb was thrown at a Sinn Fein officer in Derry and paint was thrown at Sinn Fein offices in west Belfast.