A hitherto unheard-of republican group which has issued a statement threatening members of the security services is not in fact new, say police.
An outfit calling itself the Irish Republican Movement sent a statement to the Irish News saying it will attack “Crown forces” and drug dealers.
The article was accompanied by a picture of five men with weapons ranging from a revolver and a pipe bomb to a Kalashnikov-style rifle.
However, late on Thursday night, in a statement issued in the name of Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, the PSNI said: “I am aware of a group calling itself the Irish Republican Movement (IRM) and its statement in the media.
“This is not a new violent dissident republican group. It has existed since September 2017 after splitting from Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) under the banner of Irish Republican Brotherhood and has simply been renamed as IRM.
“Violent dissident republican groupings are fluid and change regularly for a number of reasons. Firstly, the investigative effort of PSNI and MI5 has disrupted the activity of people and groupings who want to commit acts of terror in our community.
“Secondly, there is a desire for power amongst the individuals involved and this leads to fall outs and fractious relationships.
“The PSNI will continue to work with MI5 to identify, actively pursue and investigate those involved in acts of terrorism, violence and criminality and place them before the courts in order to protect society and keep people safe.”