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Europe

UK raises threat level as terror attack is now a ‘strong possibility’

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-24

The British government raised the threat level of an Irish Republican related terror attack Friday from moderate to substantial, saying that a strike is a "strong possibility". The decision was based on factors including "intent" and "capability".

REUTERS - Britain has raised the threat level of an Irish-related terror attack from moderate to substantial, the third highest level, meaning a strike is a "strong possibility", the government said on Friday.

Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May said it was the first time the government had published the threat level from Irish-related groups.
 
The threat from international terrorism remains "severe", the second highest level, which means the security services think an attack is highly likely.
 
"We have been consistent in stating that the threat to the UK from terrorism is real and serious," May said in a statement.
 
"The balance we aim to strike is keeping people alert but not alarmed. I would urge the public to report any suspicious activity to the police."
 
The government said the decision to raise the threat level was based on factors including the "intent and capability of terrorist groups". May did not mention any specific threats and a Home Office spokesman would not comment.
 
The head of the MI5 security service warned last week that dissident Irish Republican groups opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland could seek to strike mainland Britain.
 
A 1998 peace deal largely ended three decades of violence between predominantly Catholic Nationalist groups who want a united Ireland and mainly Protestant unionists who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom.
 
The main paramilitary organisations on both sides, such as the Provisional IRA, have surrendered their weapons, but militant splinter groups have stepped up attacks in Northern Ireland in recent months.
 
Dissidents have attacked security forces several times, with the Real IRA believed to be leading much of the campaign including car bombings and shooting at police officers.

 

Date created : 2010-09-24

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