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Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Continuity Irish Republican Army

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 April 2014
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Continuity Irish Republican Army, 30 April 2014, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5362298fb.html [accessed 31 August 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

aka Continuity Army Council; Continuity IRA; Republican Sinn Fein

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on July 13, 2004, the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) is a terrorist splinter group formed in 1994 as the clandestine armed wing of Republican Sinn Fein; it split from Sinn Fein in 1986. "Continuity" refers to the group's belief that it is carrying on the original Irish Republican Army's (IRA) goal of forcing the British out of Northern Ireland. CIRA cooperates with the larger Real IRA (RIRA).

In 2012, CIRA released a statement claiming it had new leadership, after previous leadership was ousted over allegations that it was acting to the detriment of the organization.

Activities: CIRA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland, where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets have included the British military, Northern Ireland security forces, and Loyalist paramilitary groups. CIRA did not join the Provisional IRA in the September 2005 decommissioning and remained capable of effective, if sporadic, terrorist attacks. On April 21, 2011, authorities defused an explosive device planted by CIRA near a statue of the Duke of Wellington in Trim, Meath, Ireland.

In December 2012, a plot by CIRA to murder an Irish national serving in the British army was foiled by Irish police. In January 2013, the group claimed responsibility for firing shots at police officers in Drumbeg, Craigavon County, Northern Ireland.

Strength: Membership is small, with possibly fewer than 50. Police counterterrorism operations have reduced the group's strength.

Location/Area of Operation: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Funding and External Aid: CIRA supported its activities through criminal activities, including smuggling.

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