Britain’s security Service, MI5, has increased the threat level to Great Britain from Northern Ireland-related terrorism from moderate to substantial.
This means that an attack in England, Scotland or Wales is “a strong possibility”.
The Home Office was working closely with the police and other relevant authorities to ensure appropriate security measures were put in place, the home secretary asaid
The BBC reports:
Home Secretary Theresa May said the level, set by security service MI5, “reflects the continuing threat from dissident republican activity”.
The level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland remains severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely”.
Despite the increase in the threat level from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain, it remains lower than the threat to the entire UK from international terrorism.
This is set at severe – the second-highest of the five ratings used.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said it had been 15 years since the last Northern Ireland-related attack in Great Britain, but there was now a “real fear” in the security services that deadly tactics of the past would be used again.
But he said the “far bigger” threat to Great Britain came from the Islamic State group and its supporters.
Mrs May confirmed the change of threat level relating to Great Britain – meaning three of the four countries of the UK – in a written statement to Parliament.
She gave no further details of any intelligence had led to the level being changed.
The threat level to the UK from international terrorism remains the same at ‘severe’, which means that an attack is highly likely.
The five threat levels are:
- Critical – an attack is expected imminently
- Severe – an attack is highly likely
- Substantial – an attack is a strong possibility
- Moderate – an attack is possible but not likely
- Low – an attack is unlikely