British Soldiers called back to Northern Ireland in crack down of terrorist activities.
British Soldiers from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SSR) have been sent to the Province to gather intelligence on dissident Republicans. Around 60 members of the crack unit are believed to be in action and have notched up a series of successes. Intelligence sources said that the elite troops have already foiled a series of bomb attacks and murders. It is understood that they have been there since operations ceased in Afghanistan. They were sent to Ulster as incidents of violence increased.
The threat state in Northern Ireland is set at `SEVERE` the second highest, meaning an attack by Republican terrorists is `HIGHLY LIKELY`.
Last year, terrorist incidents were taking place on a weekly basis and security officials fear that eventually an attack will result in very large loss of life. Troops from the unit are believed to be based in a number of locations supplying intelligence on some of the well known and dangerous terrorists to Mi5. The Special Air Service (S.A.S) and 14 Intelligence Company, the forerunner to the SRR were withdrawn from Ulster more than ten years ago, but a small team from SRR returned in 2009 following a spike in Dissident Republican activity, they were withdrawn a couple of years later and have recently been re-deployed following an increase of incidents.
Last month Andrew Parker, Director-General of Mi5 said of more than 20 Dissident Republican attacks most were unsuccessful and up to four times than many have been prevented, but he added it was `unrealistic to expect every planned attack to be stopped`.
It is understood that the SRR helped foil the majority of failed terrorist attacks launched by either the Real IRA (RIRA) or by the Continuity IRA (CIRA). Intelligence sources expect a further spike in activity in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising in 1916 - The Irish Republican rebellion which eventually led to the end of English Rule in the South.
SRR operatives work in small teams and undertake missions regarded as too dangerous for either Mi5 or the Counter-Terrorist Units. They both served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The SRR is the best counter-terrorist surveillance unit in the world and their specially is close and aggressive surveillance.