A new IRA is on the cards as three of the four main Republican terrorist groups in Northern Ireland amalgamate.
The groups operating successfully have not been able to dent the Irish peace process and the powersharing government despite occasional efforts.
They have also been unable to win any broad-based community support or attract any significant followers in the US.
A front-page report in the The Guardian newspaper says the groups will come together in a major attempt to destabilise power sharing.
The Real IRA are leading the move and will be joined by the Republican Action Against Drugs and a ‘loose coalition’ of independent armed groups.
The Republican Action Against Drugs group have been running a violent vigilante campaign in Derry according to the paper.
Only the Continuity IRA will remain outside the new grouping.
The new IRA has issued a statement to the Guardian. It claims:
“We have formed a unified structure, under a single leadership.
“The organisation will be subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army.”
The report states that this is the first time since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998 that a majority of the forces of dissident republicanism has coalesced.
The paper quotes Republican sources as saying that the new paramilitary force includes ‘several hundred armed dissidents’.
It says the group will include some former members of the now disbanded Provisional IRA who have been conducting a campaign of shooting and forcible exiling of men in Derry City, whom they accuse of drug dealing.
The statement claimed that the new group will include: “non-conformist republicans, smaller independent groups from Belfast and rural parts of Northern Ireland.”
Sources said the Republican Action Against Drugs group and the Real IRA will now cease to exist.
The new IRA plans to intensify terror attacks on the security forces and other targets related to what it regards as ‘symbols of the British presence’ claimed the source.
Targets could police stations, banks and the UK City of Culture celebrations in Derry next year which the dissidents have described as ‘normalising British rule’.
The statement from the group added: “In recent years the establishment of a free and independent Ireland has suffered setbacks due to the failure among the leadership of Irish nationalism and fractures within republicanism.
“The Irish people have been sold a phoney peace, rubber-stamped by a token legislature in Stormont.
“The necessity of armed struggle in pursuit of Irish freedom against the forces of the British crown will only be avoided by the removal of the British military presence in Northern Ireland.
“We demand an internationally observed timescale that details the dismantling of British political interference in our country.”
The statement also attacked Sinn Fein and Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson, described as an ‘overlord’.
It continued: “Non-conformist republicans are being subjected to harassment, arrest and violence by the forces of the British crown; others have been interned on the direction of an English overlord. It is Britain, not the IRA, which has chosen provocation and conflict.”