An Ulster Unionist member of the Policing Board has claimed that ‘dissident’ republicans have almost reached the same level of terrorist capability as the Provisional IRA.
Basil McCrea said his analysis was based on intelligence information from the Policing Board.
He said that he expected more violence from dissident republican groups.
“The message coming out from me is to understand that there is a serious threat out there.”
Mr McCrea made the comments on BBC Radio Ulster’s Stephen Nolan show.
“They are about 97% at the moment in terms of capability and capacity and the only thing stopping them doing it is an extremely efficient PSNI operation in terms of disrupting serious crime and these people,” he said.
Mr McCrea said the information his analysis was based on was confidential but said the threat was “serious”.
A week ago a military hand grenade was used in an attack by dissidents on a PSNI patrol in west Belfast.
The breakaway IRA group Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) said it was responsible for the attack.
Meanwhile, British military spin doctors have dreamt up a new name for the republican armed groups, in an attempt to strip them of a perceived ‘status’ by being labelled dissidents.
Britain’s Northern Ireland Office wants to rebrand the armed group as “Residual Terrorist Groups -- or RTGs for short.
A number of military organisations and the PSNI, have resisted the plan,
PSNI officers are said to be “incredulous” that they are being asked to adopt a new “politically correct jargon” to deal with the threat.