Staring into a black hole: are contemporary dissident Irish Republican terror groups really terrorist organisations or merely a ‘front’ for organised-crime?

Thompson, Andrew (2013) Staring into a black hole: are contemporary dissident Irish Republican terror groups really terrorist organisations or merely a ‘front’ for organised-crime? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This research examined whether contemporary dissident terrorist groups in Northern Ireland are genuine terrorists with political aims and ideologies or whether they have become merely ‘fronts’ for organised-crime groups.
    In doing this it used a literature review to examine and consider a number of secondary documents. Additionally, discourse analysis was used throughout this process to ensure that any bias in the sources was identified and taken into consideration during the research. The findings of the literature review were used to consider if any of the main dissident groups had moved into what Makarenko described as the ‘black-hole’ on her crime-terror continuum. This black-hole being where previously separate terrorist and organised-crime groups converge to such an extent that they effectively become one and are indistinguishable from each other.
    The research found that following the Good Friday Agreement and the 9/11 terrorist attacks the funding streams for Northern Ireland terrorist groups diminished. Subsequently this appeared to cause the dissident groups to diversify their funding methods which included the use of criminal funding as well as cooperation and alliances with organised-crime groups. Despite this evidence was found that suggested that such criminal funding appeared necessary for the dissident groups to survive financially in the current financial climate.
    Although the main dissident groups may use criminal funding methods there was a dearth of contemporary research into not only the dissidents as a whole but also the question of their involvement in criminal activity. Despite these difficulties it was identified that the dissidents maintain political ‘wings’ whose role appears to be to maintain and espouse a political ideology. This tended to suggest that despite their criminal funding the dissidents do appear to maintain the strategic political intentions which are usually central to a terrorist organisation.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2015 14:38
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 14:38
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16877

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