Britain raises threat level of Irish-related terror attack

08:48, September 25, 2010      

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British Home Office announced on Friday that the security service has raised the threat level to Britain from Irish-related terrorism from moderate to substantial, meaning an attack is a "strong possibility".

This is the first time an Irish-related threat assessment has been published to encourage people to be alert to the increased threat from Irish-related terrorism, and the threat from international terrorism remains severe.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "The director-general of the Security Service has informed me that he has raised the threat to Great Britain from Irish-related terrorism from moderate to substantial."

Judgments are based on a broad range of factors, including the intent and capabilities of terrorist groups.

May said this is the interests of transparency and to encourage people to remain vigilant.

The first and most important duty of government is the protection and security of the British people, She added, "We have been consistent in stating that the threat to Britain from terrorism is real and serious. The balance we aim to strike is keeping people alert but not alarmed."

The home secretary said, "I would urge the public to report any suspicious activity to the police and security services in their continuing efforts to discover, track and disrupt terrorist activity."

Jonathan Evans, the director-general of the Security Service warned last week that dissident Irish republicans could attempt to mount a new wave of terrorist attacks on the British mainland.

Evans said that there has been a "persistent rise" in "activity and ambition" by dissident groups in Northern Ireland over the past three years.

Since the start of this year, there had been more than 30 attacks or attempted attacks on national security targets by dissident republicans, compared with just over 20 for the whole of last year, he said.

There are five levels of threat, including critical, severe, substantial, moderate and low.

Source: Xinhua


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