One of Emgann's particularities is its refusal of all contact with established French political parties, and its atypical pattern of recruitment. At the end of the 1990s, it was largely absent from the universities - the traditional recruiting ground of French radical political movements - but instead tended to recruit new members in urban areas, especially among the young unemployed and under-employed. As a result, the movement's militancy tends to be proportionate to the weakness of the local economy.
Emgann's leaders are adamant that "Emgann is not the legal mouthpeice of the ARB" (Armée Révolutionnaire Bretonne - Breton Revolutionary Army). The ARB is the armed branch of the Front de Libération de la Bretagne (Breton Liberation Front) - a banned organisation that French law considers to be a terrorist group. Despite Emgann's denials of any formal link between the two organisations, its official statements call the ARB a "patriotic resistance organisation" and their journal Combat breton publishes the ARB's press releases.
Emgann clams that it does not approve of the violent actions of the ARB, but it doesn't disprove either, treating them instead as "a logical consequence of the colonialist French state and the desperation of young Bretons." However, several members of Emgann were arrested and convicted by French courts as accomplices in the theft of several tonnes of explosives from a Breton company in Plévin (Côtes-d'Armor) in 1999. This theft was followed by a series of bombings attributed to the ARB, including a fatal explosion at a McDonald's in Quévert (Côtes-d'Armor). Ultimately, a former spokesman for Emgann was cleared of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts for the bombings in Quévert and elsewhere. However, since many of the accused were held in provisional detention for several years before their trials, many were released, having been imprisoned for longer than the time they were sentenced to before their trials even started. One has appealed his conviction to the European Court of Human Rights. These lengthy delays and other claimed irregularities in the trial have led to their condemnation by Emgann as a "travesty".