RealNews

Police Fear I.R.A. Is Turning Expertise to Organized Crime

One of the largest bank robberies in these parts unfolded here with cinematic precision and boldness: under the gaze of thousands of Christmas shoppers, robbers drove away with $50 million in cash, without ever setting foot in the bank or leaving so much as a fingerprint.So blunder-free was the Dec. 20 caper that investigators immediately focused on the one group they believed had the skill and wherewithal to pull off the job: the Irish Republican Army. The I.R.A. vehemently denied any involvement, and Sinn Fein, the group’s political wing, accused the police of trying to smear the party and undermine the Northern Ireland peace process. But the accusation, beyond stalling the already troubled peace effort, raised new worries that the I.R.A. had morphed into a flourishing criminal enterprise.Full Story

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