Armed Militants in the UK, Who Are They?


Britain has long had to contend with Islamist terror groups, militants opposed to UK sovereignty in Northern Ireland and even militants in favour of it.

The Basque guerrilla group ETA on Thursday announced its final dissolution, bringing to an end more than four decades of terrorist attacks and targeted killings in pursuit of a Basque homeland in northern Spain.

Over the same period, the United Kingdom has had to face the reality of constant terrorist attacks from a number of sources, killing hundreds of people and stretching the resources of the services trying to combat such groups.

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)

Like ETA which reportedly only amounted to a few hundred individuals, most of whom were imprisoned, the CIRA is believed to number at just around 50 members. Calling itself the armed forces of the Republic of Ireland, with which it seeks to join the country of Northern Ireland, the group became active in 1994 after the Irish Republican Army (IRA) accepted a provisional ceasefire with the UK government that eventually led to the Good Friday Accords in 1998.

Because of its size, the group’s activities were mainly restricted to shootings, attempted kidnappings of police and security force members and the planting of explosives, most recently in 2005. It remains an illegal organization in Britain, comprising hard-core former IRA members and is believed to operate primarily…

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