Police fear new attacks on officers

Police in Northern Ireland questioning three men over the murder of constable Ronan Kerr fear further attacks on their officers are being planned.

A 33-year-old man was detained in the Omagh area yesterday over the booby trap bomb attack that killed the 25-year-old Catholic officer outside his home in the Co Tyrone town on Saturday.



Police were yesterday also given five more days to question a 26-year-old man arrested in Scotland on Wednesday and re-arrested on Thursday, plus a 40-year-old man arrested near Omagh on Thursday.



The under-car bomb was blamed on dissident republicans who remain violently opposed to the peace process.



It has also emerged that the groups are continuing to target policemen in the wake of Pc Kerr's murder.



Senior police sources have said the public outcry following the young officer's death has had no influence on the mindset of extremists, who remain focused on killing members of the security forces.



Detectives have evidence the dissidents have been actively targeting Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) personnel since the weekend murder.



Officers do not want the nature of the intelligence to be made public for investigative reasons, but they say murder plots are being uncovered at a rate of one a fortnight.



One PSNI source added: "There is absolutely no indication the community outrage has had any impact on the mindset of the dissidents."



In a further development, it has emerged that just 24 hours before the fatal car bomb blast in Omagh, police had ordered a specialist team of detectives to begin sifting through evidence from historic dissident attacks in a bid to ramp-up the pressure on the terrorists.



The cold case review will see exhibits analysed using the latest fingerprint recognition technology and Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA forensic techniques.



The review will examine specific crimes detectives believe may have involved present-day dissidents.



However, the team will not confine its work to terror acts and every facet of suspected dissidents' affairs will be examined, from past financial dealings to potential involvement in other crimes.



"We hope to engender a state of paranoia among the dissidents," said another police source. "Make their lives as uncomfortable as possible."



None of the renegade groups has yet claimed responsibility for the murder of Pc Kerr.



But officers have indicated that increasing links and co-operation between disparate organisations means a specific claim is not as relevant to their investigation as it might once have been.



They believe there are nearly as many as 30 distinct groupings operating across Northern Ireland, some claiming to be the Real IRA, some Continuity IRA, some from Oglaigh na hEireann, with other groups claiming no affiliation at all.



The fluid nature of the dissidents has seen a new grouping emerge in the Co Tyrone area in recent months.



The first two men arrested in connection with Pc Kerr's murder are being questioned at Antrim police station.



The 40-year-old and 26-year-old are also being quizzed about a substantial arms and explosives cache uncovered by the murder investigation team near Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on Tuesday night.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: Business Development Manager

Competitive: Opilio Recruitment: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Bu...

Recruitment Genius: Systems / Network Administrator

£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning internet, do...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunity for someone l...

Opilio Recruitment: Technical Recruiter

£35k - 42k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting oppo...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game