Britain raises domestic threat level for Northern Ireland

Britain’s MI5 intelligence agency has increased the threat level to Northern Ireland from domestic terrorism to “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

The change comes after an off-duty officer was seriously injured in a gun attack last month.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris cited a “small number” of individuals who remain determined to use “politically motivated violence”.

He urged the public to “remain vigilant” but “not be alarmed” and to report any concerns they have to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The increase in the threat level is due to an increase in levels of activity relating to Northern Ireland-related terrorism, which has targeted police officers serving their communities and also put at risk the lives of children and other members of the public.

However, Heaton-Harris emphasized that these attacks have no support, as demonstrated by the reaction to the attempted murder of DCI Caldwell.

The change in threat level comes ahead of next month’s 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement peace deal that largely ended the “Troubles,” three decades of violence that had convulsed Northern Ireland since the late 1960.

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