The apparent upsurge in dissident republican activity across the North recently is a cause for serious concern.
Thankfully the litany of attempted bomb attacks and security alerts has not led to the casualties that could have been the result of their pointless actions, which fly in the face of the wishes of the vast majority of the population, north and south. The latest tactic employed by these tiny factions, that of forcing innocent members of the public to participate in their murderous plans by making them drive unpredictable bombs through busy streets, risking their lives in the process, is particularly disgusting.
Not only do these people completely disregard the general consensus of support for the peace process and rejection of violence with their continued and utterly futile campaign, they have now gone a step further and are actively targeting civilians by forcing them to do their dirty work.
This indiscriminate targeting of civilians going about their daily business is nothing short of oppression.
How those responsible can claim to be carrying out such actions as part of a freedom struggle is beyond comprehension.
To make matters worse, they are offering no justification - even by their warped logic - for their actions. Their strategy, if one exists, appears to be to cause disruption simply for the sake of it.
To date their plans have been thwarted by the actions police, quick-thinking members of the public, or by the ineptitude of the bombers.
We cannot rely on good fortune, however, and a policing solution alone, though crucial, will not remove the threat.
Instead communities must make it clear to those who are still committed to violence that they are not advancing any cause or acting in anyone’s name and should stop putting people in harm’s way and end their campaign of madness.