MATT BAGGOTT: PSNI E GARDA UNITE CONTRO LA “MINACCIA DISSIDENTE”
Matt Baggott warns of dissident risk (Belfast Telegraph)
PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott has warned against playing down the risk of attacks from dissident republicans.
The security threat remains classified as “severe” — the second highest level — despite what police on both sides of the border described as considerable successes against breakaway factions.
Referring to recent Real IRA attacks on banks in an attempt to tap into anti-capitalist sentiment, the PSNI boss said their rhetoric was “so far removed from reality” that it exposed the grouping as being solely intent on extreme violence, that had nothing to do with any aim towards a united Ireland.
Speaking at the ninth annual cross-border organised crime seminar, the chief constable said their message wasn’t tenable and needed to be confronted.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan also cautioned against underestimating the threat level from dissidents, despite almost 110 arrests in the Republic and the charging of 40 people before the non-jury Special Criminal Court over the past two years.
The Chief Constable said it was a “matter of fact” that the PSNI and Garda were having an impact against dissidents in terms of charges brought before the courts.
The co-operation and the investment of both expertise and money between the forces had built up probably one of the finest counter-terrorism cross-border operations in the world, he said.