Northern Irish militant group Real I.R.A., an offshoot of the Irish Republican Army, has turned its violent focus on bankers and banks, in response to popular hostility against the financial community, spokespeople told The Guardian.
The group, which The Guardian says has 100 activists, pointed to its "track record of attacking high-profile economic targets" in the U.K. In 2000 and 2001, Real I.R.A. activists set off bombs at London cars and a post office.
In what The Guardian says is the group's first public threat against the financial community, the Real I.R.A. called bankers "criminals" and said the recent cycle of bailouts and bonuses was "essentially a crime spree that benefits a social elite at the expense of many millions of victims."
In 1990, the Real I.R.A. bombed the London Stock Exchange, and in 1996, it bombed Canary Wharf, the London business district. But "security sources," reports The Guardian, don't think the group has the resources to launch what the newspaper calls "large-scale bombings."
Violence, which could include "punishment shootings and expulsions," the Real I.R.A. told The Guardian, is "a last resort to protect the community."