Also see: Britain Reactivates FRU in Northern Ireland
"Killings by IRA dissidents unite Northern Ireland; Prompt vow to defeat hard-liners" by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press | March 11, 2009
BELFAST - The Protestant and Catholic leaders of Northern Ireland mounted an exceptional display of unity against rising violence from Irish Republican Army dissidents - and vowed yesterday to defeat hard-liners with the power of popular will.
Former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, who long hoped that slaying police officers would help him achieve his dream of a united Ireland, stood shoulder to shoulder with his Protestant partner atop the government, Peter Robinson, and Northern Ireland police commander Hugh Orde.
The scene itself was an unprecedented surprise. More stunning were the clear-cut words from McGuinness, whose Sinn Fein party has faced years of outside pressure to embrace British law and order. He pledged his personal support to the English police chief, and demanded that his own police-loathing supporters abandon their traditional code of silence and expose the IRA dissidents in their Irish Catholic communities....
Analysts said the dissidents' dramatic escalation of bloodshed since Saturday was designed to divide and undermine McGuinness and Robinson as they embarked on their most significant foreign mission: a planned 10-day tour of the United States culminating at the White House on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, to meet President Barack Obama.
And CUI BONO, FRU?
Twice, deadly shootings have obliged the power-sharing chiefs to postpone their departure. They will try again today, and still expect to meet Obama next week on Ireland's national holiday, the day when Northern Ireland leaders traditionally curry US economic and political support.
But political analysts widely suggested yesterday that the dissidents, though probably trying to exacerbate tensions between Robinson's Democratic Unionists and McGuinness' Sinn Fein, were having the opposite effect....
The most recent victim, 48-year-old Constable Stephen Carroll, a 23-year police veteran who was shot in the back of his head Monday night when a gunman from the Continuity IRA dissident group fired on his parked police car.... The Continuity IRA and the Real IRA are committed to unraveling the 2005 decision by the mainstream "Provisional" IRA to renounce violence and disarm....
Is the PICTURE becoming CLEARER to you?
Police raided several homes yesterday in a nearby state housing project and arrested a 17-year-old-boy and 37-year-old man on suspicion of involvement in Carroll's slaying....
Both BRITISH INTEL AGENTS, right?