Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Dissident threat level is raised

By Vincent Kearney
Home Affairs Correspondent

Graffiti featuring the Real IRA, a dissident republican grouping
The security services believe dissidents pose a greater threat

The government and security services believe dissident republicans pose a greater threat than ever.

The threat assessment has been raised to "severe", meaning an attack is regarded as highly likely.

The decision to upgrade the level was made by MI5 - responsible for gathering intelligence on dissident republicans.

For a number of years now the threat posed by dissidents was "substantial", meaning attacks were regarded as a strong possibility.

While dissident groups remain relatively small and do not have a central command structure - intelligence information suggests groups in some areas are becoming much better organised and more technically sophisticated.

Their level of activity has also increased.

Security sources have said that police have prevented a large number of planned attacks in recent months.

But the determination to carry out attacks has increased, and the police and security services are having to work much harder to stop them.

Advertisement

BBC Northern Ireland's Home Affairs Correspondent Vincent Kearney reports on the new threat level.



Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific