'Irish dissident groups influenced by Taliban and Isis'

'Irish dissident groups influenced by Taliban and Isis'

REPUBLICAN dissidents are studying techniques used by the Taliban and Islamic State militants.

That is according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Assistant Chief Constable, Will Kerr.

He made the comments expressing concern over the issue, with the upcoming British elections, as well as looking towards the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising next year.

Kerr’s main concern is that the republican dissidents are studying improvised explosive devices used by the Taliban and Islamic State militants online.

He also expressed deep concern over the recent surge in arrests of youths as young as 17 or 18 for serious dissident republican activity.

Kerr is the North’s leading police officer in charge of counter-terrorism in the region. His comments come as Britain gears up for the general election in May of this year.

Last week, it emerged that there was a Tory sentiment that the right to vote should be removed from non-British nationals residing here, including some 345,000 Irish born citizens.

With the elections looming, there are growing fears this news would provide dissident republicans with an incentive for an attack.

Recent cuts to police budgets in Britain mean that, while anti-terrorist operations in the North should remain largely untouched, other services in the region may suffer.