Irish Republicanism and the Internet: support for New Wave Dissidents

Irish Republicanism and the Internet: support for New Wave Dissidents

by Lorraine Bowman-Grieve

Abstract

This article considers the use of the Internet by Irish Republicans and does so by applying thematic content analysis to a sample of websites that support the Irish Republican movement. Particular attention is paid to the Irish Republican virtual community which, through regular user interaction, creates and sustains an online discourse of support for their cause and the currently active dissident movements. Further analysis focuses on the function of a virtual community and the interactions facilitated by this online social space in relation to the potential for increased commitment to, and involvement in, support-related activities both on and off line.

Introduction

Despite the fact that Irish Republican paramilitary organisations such as the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) / Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) have recently denounced the use of terrorism to achieve their goal of a United Ireland there has been an apparent resurgence in paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland [1]. In March 2009, members of the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) and the Continuity IRA (CIRA) were responsible for the murders of two British soldiers at Massereene Barracks in Antrim and the killing of a policeman in Armagh. According to a recent story in the UK's Telegraph, MI5 are "convinced dissident groups have managed to recruit former IRA bomb makers". This conviction finds further support following the recent diffusion of a 600lb bomb in south Armagh in September 2009. The bomb, considered by security sources as one of the most sophisticated to have been assembled by any of the dissident terror groups in recent years, is thought to be the work of Oglaigh na hĖireann (Gaelic for Youth/Soldiers of Ireland) [2].

The recent spate of violent activity in Northern Ireland indicates a regeneration of dissident movements that appear to have been dormant in recent years. The RIRA, CIRA and also Oglaigh na hĖireann have crept back into the media with their involvement in violent activities that are being used to promote their position, or rather their opposition to the peace process in Northern Ireland. While these groups may have appeared extinct in recent years they have apparently managed to maintain some level of support within Northern Ireland and the Republic. The extent of this support remains unknown; however Internet activity in support of these movements over the past few years indicates that there is a body of 'online supporters' who have been waiting for the return of these movements.

The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to the uses of the Internet by dissident Republican movements and their supporters. In particular we will focus on the website of Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), the political wing associated with the Continuity IRA, and the website of the youth movement "Na Fianna Éireann" which in turn links directly to the "Irish Republican Bulletin Board", a virtual community in support of Irish Republicanism.

Terrorist use of the Internet and Virtual Communities of Support

Websites in support of terrorist movements are not difficult to find; in fact it is often simply a matter of using the right keywords in search engines and following internet links to find websites that are sources of information both for the supporter and the merely curious. The more sophisticated of websites provide access to a wealth of information relating to the terrorist movement - including news items, archived news and, in some cases, the option of an email news bulletin. It is not unusual for websites of this nature to include also detailed information relating to the movement, such as communiqués from leaders and details of 'successful' activities, both violent and merely political. Sophisticated websites often include pictures and images of 'enemy' attacks and civilian casualties. Such information and imagery is important to the propaganda campaign of the movement as they serve to "justify" retaliation and promote support. Supporters are also often afforded the opportunity of contributing towards the funding of the organisation via donations made payable online or through the purchase of merchandise offered for sale on the website.

Of course websites, no matter how sophisticated, remain one-way providers of information; they do not allow visitors of the site to interact with those running the site or link up with each other. Virtual Communities, however, are a very different entity. The role of a virtual community is to provide a 'public' space (albeit often hidden) for interaction between those who support, sympathize with, or are merely interested in a terrorist movement. Virtual Communities appear to have become an increasingly popular means for supporters of terrorist and extremist movements to communicate with each other. Although distinct numbers are almost impossible to gauge, their popularity can be deducted from the many communities that are directly linked to websites of interest. With web forums in support of Islamic Fundamentalism (e.g. Al Hesbah & Al Boraq), White Supremacism (e.g. Stormfront & Combat 18), Israeli Extremism (e.g. Kahane) and Irish Republicanism (e.g. the Irish Republican Bulletin Board) it has become apparent that virtual communities are becoming an expected feature to the online presence of terrorist movements or their front organizations.

Virtual Communities in support of terrorist movements might best be understood within the framework of 'Communities of Practice' [3]. Communities of practice are informal social learning environments that can contribute to the increasing commitment of group members to particular movements and ideologies. Virtual Communities of Practice require that a body of members actively use a created virtual space to effectively interact in a meaningful, community-driven way. Regular community members will pride themselves on their communities and the activities they pursue, i.e. of communicating with others, of disseminating their 'truth', of creating a place where others can come to learn, contribute and find validation for their beliefs and opinions. These social spaces provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of information and material considered relevant to the movement.

Through the creation of specific discourses they promote the formation of the individual political identity of participants. Over time these communities develop their own set of norms with the potential to contribute to the creation of joint values, rules of acceptable behaviour and even some sort of moral standards. With the formation of inter-personal bonds strong ties and links between online community members can be forged. Such links should not be under-estimated in terms of their potential to create very real social networks and communities of supporters who are willing to work together in the future to achieve some common goals in the name of a terrorist movement (such as one of the factions of the Irish Republican Army) or ideological position (such as a United Ireland).In so doing both the group discipline and the ideology of the group can potentially exert increasing levels of control on the participating individual, which, in turn, may affect subsequent decision-making and behaviour.

Irish Republicanism Online: Republican Sinn Féin and Saoirse

Republican Sinn Féin considers itself the 'real' Sinn Féin and thus claims it was formed in 1905 (when Sinn Féin came into existence). However, Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) as a distinct movement began only in 1986 when the main Sinn Féin party (the political wing of the Irish Republican Army – IRA) decided to end its traditional abstention policy from the Irish parliament. Those who opposed the move walked out to form RSF. The group was lead by Ruairí Ó Braídaigh, former President of Sinn Féin, and Daithi Ó Conaill, former Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). At the 1988 RSF annual convention the party reaffirmed its support for the 'armed struggle'. RSF remain opposed to the current peace process, and the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA), an active terrorist group, is widely believed to be the military wing of the movement.

Site Services and Functions

The Republican Sinn Féin website consists of text and images which are designed to represent an Irish Republican viewpoint and, more specifically, to represent the views and opinions of the Republican Sinn Féin party which continues to encourage action in the pursuit of the organisations objectives, which include the following (as stated on the official website: http://www.rsf.ie/ ):

The overthrow of British rule in Ireland, and the establishment of a Federal Democratic Socialist Republic based on the Proclamation of 1916.

To establish a reign of social justice based on Irish Republican socialist principles in accordance with the Proclamation of the Republic of 1916 and by a just distribution of the nation's wealth and resources. To establish the Irish language as the primary means of communication in the Republic.

The website is used to provide information on the history and organisational structure of the group according to which (R) SF was formed in 1905 making it is the oldest political organisation in the country. It was organised throughout the 32 Counties and has continuously rejected the "failed political entities of the Six and 26 Counties in existence since the British partitioned our country". The group is organised throughout Ireland with "cumainn (branches) in England and Scotland and supporters in North America and Australia." A section entitled "Éire Nua, d'Aois Nua" Gaelic for "A New Ireland, a New Age" features an in depth analysis of RSF's proposal for a New Ireland which incorporates the goals, objectives and principles outlined throughout the website.The website is also used to encourage active involvement in the organisation and an online membership application form is available. RSF describes itself as an active organisation and makes clear that joining requires a commitment of a considerable portion of time to the work of the organisation. The RSF website also includes a section devoted to Republican news and links directly to the Republican Newspaper, Saoirse (http://saoirse.rr.nu):

Saoirse – Irish Freedom is the voice of the Irish Republican Movement. The monthly newspaper of Republican Sinn Féin, it takes its name from Irish Freedom – Saoirse, a Fenian paper which first appeared in November 1910 and continued as a monthly publication until December 1914 when it was suppressed by the British authorities. (http://www.rsf.ie/saoirse.htm)

Saoirse re-emerged in 1987 and has been available online since 1996; additionally the site provides information on past publications and currently claims an email list of 500 subscribers for RSF News. Saoirse is arguably most important in relation to its propaganda role, providing a means of communicating and disseminating. Information considered important to RSF members and supporters.

In a recent edition of Saoirse (dated October 2009), the headline of an article claiming "British Repression provokes resistance" read, "The leopard does not change its spots and neither does the nature of British rule in Ireland.", illustrating the general position of this source as a provider of information that is supportive of Republicanism with a clear desire to promote the end of British Rule in Northern Ireland.

With news items ranging from the aftermath of recent violent events in Northern Ireland to history-based news stories and current news such as that the present leader Ruari O Bradaigh will not be standing for the presidential position of RSF at the forthcoming Ard Fheis (Annual Party Conference), Saoirse provides a wide range of information to the interested Republican, including those associated with the youth movement Na Fianna Éireann.

Na Fianna Éireann

Na Fianna Éireann (FE) (Gaelic for 'The Warriors of Ireland'), is a Republican youth movement traditionally used to support the activities of the IRA. FE were historically a band of warriors, who defended Ireland against invasion. According to their website (http://fiannaeireann.com/):

Na Fianna Éireann is the only true Republican youth movement, which still holds the same principles as when it was founded in 1909 by Countess Markievicz. Those principles include the educating of young boys and girls towards a united Ireland, and to assist all branches of the Republican Movement.

The FE website is directly linked to the Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) website, the website for Saoirse, and the Irish Freedom Committee website, a U.S. based Republican organisation which adheres to the same principles as RSF. The FE website provides the latest news updates and a news archive via the Irish Republican Bulletin Board to which it directly links; it also provides a news delivery service to personal email accounts which facilitates a faster and more efficient flow of information to Republican supporters. The site also includes detailed information on the goals and objectives of the organisation, how to become a member (membership only available in Ireland) and what being a member of Na Fianna Éireann means.

To be a member of Na Fianna means that you have devoted yourself to the service of Ireland, It means that you will become trained in mind and body to render that service. It means that the service of Ireland will be your first object in life and that you will strive with all your mind and strength and energy to carry out the promise you made when you became a member.

Membership of Na Fianna Éireann is open to boys and girls of eight years and upwards, of good character, irrespective of class or creed, who accept the objects of the organisation.

This website provides a vast amount of information either directly or via links to other websites. Included on the site are links to RSF statements, the "Fianna Code", emblems and mottos, a roll of honour (dedicated to 'martyred' freedom fighters) and contact information (Street and email address). The FE Code is an interesting section in that it sets out a blueprint defining and describing how a true and committed FE member must behave. This is not to say that this section of the board is overtly sinister. In fact, at first glance it is surprisingly banal with references to how a good FE member must be patriotic, reliable, diligent and kind; however the FE member must also be obedient and brave

"He renders strict obedience to his superiors. He learns to obey before he commands; he learns to discipline and control himself before he aspires to teach discipline to others"(…)"He faces danger, knows no fear, and stands for right on all occasions".

The 'statement' section of this site is also of particular interest. It includes not only Ard Fhéis (Annual Conference) statements and Easter messages (Significant as it marks the occasion of the 1916 rising which lead to the Independence of Ireland) issued by Na Fianna Éireann but also articles of interest to young Republicans, including two statements from Na Fianna Éireann warning Republican youths to "Beware of Imitations" and urging that 'fake groups' be ignored. More specifically they call for groups which recognise the legitimacy of the existing Irish parliament be ignored because these groups do not represent "true" Republicanism.

Another statement of interest is concerned with police raids on FE members in their homes in Dublin in May 2003; this particular statement speaks of unwarranted harsh treatment by Free State Forces (An Garda Siochána). The statement alleges that members of the Garda entered members' homes without warrants where they stole or damaged property with the supposed intention of intimidation. The statement ends with a clear declaration that intimidation will not prevail

The members involved are unbroken and unbowed to this intimidation against our members and have vowed, not to bend to oppression by any state that partitions our Island. It has also shown the states willingness to harass Republicans, while people openly take drugs in the street unhindered. It has shown where their efforts are based, in regards intimidation. We will not bend nor beg to this and will continue, as we have since 1909, to strive to bring about a 32 county socialist republic on this Island.

A multimedia section provides access to a picture and video gallery made up primarily of pictures and videos depicting Marches, which took place as recently as March 2003 It also includes a video of a Bobby Sands Commemoration (the IRA hunger striker) in March 2001, where a British flag burning was filmed. This multimedia part of the site also provides leaflets which can be downloaded and printed by individual supporters. The website service is interesting since it allows online supporters and members to become more actively involved in support of the movement, providing them access to materials which could be printed out and distributed for propaganda purposes.

The FE website also provides access to its own magazine, Young Republican, which is available, both by subscription or for download online. The magazine is dedicated to Republicanism and supports RSF. It provides a forum for these particular political viewpoints to be openly expressed, outlining issues of importance to this particular community. For example from the contents of the first issue it is apparent that Prisoner of War Status for Republican Prisoners is of importance. This is also reflected in the picketing and distribution of approximately 5,000 leaflets in support of PoW status, which took place at Croke Park in August 2003. This magazine also includes interviews with Republican figures, historical analyses of Republican events and also news items from the FE website, e.g. an article relating to alleged raids by Garda Siochána on supporters. As with Saoirse magazine mentioned previously, Young Republican is used to make the Republican viewpoint more accessible to a wider audience. In so doing it aspires to influence public perceptions of Republicanism and the activities of this movement.

While the various websites in support of Irish Republicanism - and here I named just a few - are important, what is central to the function of the internet as a tool for the dissemination of information and propaganda important to the Republican movement are virtual communities. Communities of this nature have the potential to facilitate the creation and maintenance of discourses that further support Republicanism as an ideology - in particular those specific organisations that remain in pursuit of the Republican ideal of a united Ireland.

Irish Republican Bulletin Board (http://admin2.7.forumer.com/)

The following discussion relates to data (in the form of posts) downloaded from the Irish Republican Bulletin Board (IRBB) over a six month period during 2004, with an updated review of material and posts from 2009. Over 300 posts covering a variety of topics and discussion interests for this particular group of users were downloaded and analysed, using content analysis. The examples used in this study come primarily from regular board users who avail of this facility to discuss and debate Republican issues.

This review of IRBB is part of a larger study that examines the use of the Internet by various types of terrorist and extremist movements (see Bowman-Grieve, 2006). As such the posts were analysed with a view to create a framework for understanding how and why terrorist moments and their supporters use the internet to communicate at various levels (i.e. with each other, with other movements etc.) about a range of topics relevant to them. The topics identified in this study include the creation of a specific political discourse with statements of justification for Irish Republicanism that are interwoven with the history and culture of Irish Republicanism and which, in turn, relate to distinct processes of increasing involvement in the form of shared stories of past experiences and the promotion of ways to become involved.

The Creation of a Political Discourse

'Political Discourse' refers here to the engagement of community members with political matters of perceived importance concerning Northern Ireland. Often this discourse is critical, not only in relation to the Republican Movement but also more generally in terms of the political process. The political discourse on the IRBB relates primarily to the political parties involved in the Northern Ireland conflict, both legitimate and illegitimate, that is, both recognised political parties and paramilitary organisations. For example, it is not unusual to find discourses concerned with the discussion, critique and support of organisations such as Republican Sinn Fein, Na Fianna Eireann and the Continuity IRA. Support for political parties and paramilitary organisations are exemplified in the following posts:

And everybody knows the CIRA are THE republican movement. The Irps and cokes are just 'wayward elements'. But don't worry, uncle Rauri will bring them back….
…don't tell us socialist republicans what republicanism is all about, we know because we're sticking to the path of republicanism. If progress is joining the RUC and Stormount well then I don't want progress because that's the path of the sell out.

The political discourse created within the community,although often critical in nature, is also concerned with making suggestions as to how the Republican Movement might move forward in the future. Consider the following excerpt reflecting an extreme opinion:

Time to reorganise, re-train and prepare for the next phase of the struggle – and that day will certainly come sooner or later. It would be inaccurate to say we have been "ineffective in defeating" the occupation army. The struggle is ongoing. As long as the British army occupies the Six Counties there will always be men and women in Ireland to oppose (sic) them. Ireland unfree (sic) shall never be at peace – as the Brits have learned.

On the other hand, a more tempered opinion is exemplified in the statement: "The RM must be flexible and meet the Unionists half way." Such statements illustrate in some part the diversity of viewpoints within this community. Although most regular users of this board state their support for Republicanism or at the very least their support for continued political activity towards achieving the goal of a United Ireland, they do not all share the same opinions or ideas in relation to how this goal will be best achieved. In this sense, this forum for the communication of ideas, opinions and thoughts provides an insight into these different views and how they are maintained or changed through the ongoing discourse between members.

Finally in relation to this political discourse, the British government and Loyalist factions are constructed and perceived as the enemy - often described as 'occupiers' or 'oppressors'. The 'enemy' is consistently blamed for standing in the way of Republican goals, "The Orange backlash has always been a flaw in Republican plans to re-unite this island", as one voice put it, contributing to the discourse created around the justifications for Republicanism.

Statements of Justification for Irish Republicanism

Statements of justification generally focus on two related issues. Firstly, there are those statements made by individuals regarding their personal justifications for supporting the Republican Movement and specific Republican parties and/or paramilitary organisations and their activities. Secondly, there are those statements that reflect the discourses of justification for the use of terrorism and political violence to achieve the stated aims of the Republican movement.

In relation to this first category, there appears to be a general level of support for RSF (and CIRA, but less vocally) within this group of regular users, which is reflected both within their discourses and by the amount of time they invest in and involve themselves in this bulletin board and, in some cases, the proliferation of other websites, online magazines etc. Republican discourses are often intertwined with personal ideologies and beliefs to produce justifications for support and involvement that are embedded in the history of the Republican Movement. These are often 'romanticised', rather then based in the reality of the conflict. There is also a feeling of what can be best described as 'eternal hope' - board members believing the movement will continue and will eventually be successful (albeit not in the foreseeable future). An example:

As all of you know, the political legitimacy for the I.R.A. has not changed yet. That legitimacy has not changed since '69, or'98, or in 850 years for that matter! Though after almost 3,500 deaths during 'The Troubles', I worry about what a continuation of war will really solve. I do think the political situation will inevitably bring people back into Republicanism; back to Ireland's cause, sooner or later.

An important feature of Republican discourses relates to those who are considered Republican Heroes and who are subsequently 'mythologized'. Unsurprisingly, 'fallen comrades', past volunteers and historical figures fall into this category. Their names are often called upon to boost morale:

For a just and lasting peace there must be an Ireland united and free. There will always be those such as the Continuity IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann/IRA) who bravely fight on for the full freedom of Ireland. It would be an insult to those many dead Volunteers for the leaders today to accept the status quo and give up the cause for which they died.

A much loved and favourite Republican figure is Bobby Sands. Sands died while on hunger strike in prison. He was elected to Parliament less than a month before his death and remains revered as a 'true republican'. He is 'martyred', 'mythologized' and made legendary within some of the discourse on this board. One of the regular board users for example, posts excerpts from Bobby Sands Diary and the link to the site from which the excerpts were taken, a site dedicated to the memory of Bobby Sands. A famous quote from Bobby Sands "Everyone, Republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something"can often be found on this board, particularly in the form of a sign off quote.


With regard to the second category, members have involved themselves in numerous discussions on the uses of terrorism and violence. Their views are generally split. A number of regular users, although supportive of the Republicanism, argue that the continued or future use of terrorism is futile; they hold that to date it has not achieved the goals of the Republican movement and so it should not be used in the future where alternative courses of legitimate political activity have a greater chance of success, particularly given the current international climate and the "war on terrorism". An example:

There is no legitimacy for further war until a change is incurred in the opinion of Irelands (sic) people, or if the British/Unionists go back on their word.

However, a small number of board members do not believe the ballot box will bring a solution; they support the future use of violence, albeit within limitations. The community discourse indicates that violence is supported as part of a larger campaign but is only seen as justifiable when civilians are not deliberately targeted, indicating that for at least some members of this board there is an acceptable level of political violence. Regarding the future use of terrorism by the Republican Movement, support is not unanimous; with many board users expressing support for the peace process with the hope of some sort of arrangement being successful in the future should the Good Friday Agreement fail:

You will always have the extremist on both the nationalist and unionist sides who will never be happy with any deal that does not give their side total control. Lets sic) hope they don't run the show.

The war analogy is also often used to justify the use of violence - past and present - by the Republican movement. Board members see past paramilitaries and terrorists as 'freedom fighters' or 'patriots' and believe that training and recruitment is not only necessary but will continue, as will the Republican Movement as long as the six counties remain part of Northern Ireland and the UK. Take, for example, the following posts:

When you waged a war for 30 years and killed innocent men women and children as is the case in armed conflict….(…)It isn't about treating us better and we'll stop fighting you, our demands is what ALL our patriot dead died for and that's get out before we send you home…in body bags! Long live the IRA!

I do think the political situation will inevitably bring people back into Republicanism; back to Ireland's cause, sooner or later.

Processes of Increasing Involvement

Processes of increasing involvement relates to the idea that supporting the Republican Movement and self-identification as a Republican supporter reflects engagement in a broader process. In the context of this online community this reflects, at least, a desire to increase one's knowledge of, and participation in, the Republican Movement. In considering involvement from this perspective, what constitutes 'engagement' in the supportive process becomes increasingly blurred as far as any online-offline distinctions are concerned. In this sense active support can come in many forms including the following:

  • The support of 'Prisoners of War' (PoWs) or Irish Republicans who have been imprisoned due to their involvement in Republican and terrorist activities. Support of PoWs is actively encouraged on the IRBB . Members are asked and encouraged to show their support and demonstrate their commitment to the Republican Movement and this online community by writing letters to these imprisoned individuals and signing petitions seeking recognition of their status as PoWs etc.
  • Similarly there is encouragement that where possible individuals take part in marches supporting the Republican Movement. The times and locations of such marches are often posted on the board. For example, a recent march organised by Na Fianna Éireann which took place in Limerick received significant media attention because young supporters of Na Fianna marched in army/combat outfits. The headline from one newspaper read "Sick spectacle of kids on parade". The press coverage was subsequently discussed on the bulletin board with newspaper stories and photographs scanned and posted for the community to consider.
  • Also encouraged is the establishment of other websites and online magazines. Such activities are recognised as being a positive way of supporting the community and Republican Movement. The websites and magazines set up online facilitate further dissemination of Republican information and are a means of demonstrating support and becoming further involved in this online community.
  • Additionally, members of the IRBB are encouraged to join Na Fianna Éireann and other organisations sympathetic to Irish Republicanism:

Republicans no(sic) this and it is up to us all now more than ever to get out there…let our voice be herd (sic)……And to those who want to help….Join the Republican Movement join its support groups…..It is now time that we show the people that there is only ONE! Republican Movement and we will continue until freedom is achieved. TIOCFAIDH AR LA

Conclusion

The Internet facilitates the dissemination of information and propaganda related to the Republican movement, including their justifications or stated goals and tactics used. However and perhaps more notably, the Internet also has the potential to act as a recruitment tool by facilitating a number of ways to increase online and offline engagement.

It can be argued that virtual community members exist in a pre- or semi-radicalized state. In this state they are aware of the 'conflict' and the ideology and goals of a particular movement. However, they have also positioned themselves through a process of political negotiation facilitated by online interaction regarding acceptance or rejection of the terrorist organisation and their use of violence. The individual may have become involved in on- and offline support activities. Thus the discourses created within, and interactions facilitated by, the virtual community have the potential to contribute to the de-legitimisation of the enemy and other perceived out-groups. Through processes of increasing involvement on the part of supporters and the formation of group ties online, activity by supporters has the potential to contribute to processes of radicalisation (see, for example, della Porta, 1988, & Sageman, 2004, on the importance of inter-personal bonds for involvement [4]).

This case study, considering the function of three websites and a bulletin board dedicated to the support of Irish Republicanism, indicates that the notion of a virtual terrorist support community is a valid one. There is evidence to suggest the existence of a discrete process of engaging in and sustaining support for terrorism. One implication of increased attention to such processes is the acknowledgement that a variety of roles and functions exist within terrorist movements and that those roles that help to sustain the terrorist group can be recognised as existing along a continuum, ranging from the online supporter through to the active member/terrorist. The use of the Internet by both terrorist organisations and their supporters should not be underestimated; the Internet is a powerful tool which has the capacity to play an important role in the proliferation of terrorist movements. The implications of this in terms of current counter-terrorism policy have yet to be considered in full.

About the Author: Lorraine Bowman-Grieve is a PhD graduate in Applied Psychology from University College Cork in Ireland. Her doctoral research, which was awarded an IRCHSS scholarship, focused on the use of the Internet by terrorist movements and their supporters. With an MSc in Forensic Psychology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, Lorraine Bowman-Grieve currently works as a lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Leeds Trinity and All Saints.

* This research was funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities & Social Sciences.

Notes

[1] "INLA statement in full. Full Statement on behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist movement." Belfast Telegraph, 12 Oct. 2009.

[2] Deborah McAleese. "Army braced for imminent attack in Northern Ireland." The Independent, 7 Oct. 2009. Accessed on 20 Oct. 2009 from http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/uk/crime/army-braced-for-imminent-attack-in-northern-ireland-1798928.html

[3] Etienne Wenger. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity,Cambridge: University Press, 1999 & Karsten Hundeide. "Becoming a committed insider: Acquiring skills through participation as an apprentice in a community of practice". Culture and Psychology, Vol. 9, No.2, 2003, pp. 107-127.

[4] Donatella della Porta. "Recruitment processes in clandestine political organizations: Italian left-wing terrorism". International Social Movement Research, Vol.1, 1988, pp. 155-169; Marc Sageman. Understanding terrorist networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.



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