Attacks ‘Highly Likely’: IRA Terror Alert Ahead of Biden Visit to Ireland

ROME, LAZIO, ITALY - 2021/10/30: Joe Biden (R), President of the United States, seen jokin
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Northern Ireland police are working on “very strong” intelligence of an Easter attack plot by the IRA just days before U.S. President Joe Biden is due to start a tour of the two Irish states.

The U.S. President and British Prime Minister will both be in Northern Ireland this coming week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, but police and the intelligence services are on high alert over plots to launch a terror attack in the coming days. The revelation comes a week after the official threat level in Northern Ireland was increased from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’, strongly implying new intelligence over an imminent attack.

The Good Friday Agreement was a peace agreement which largely ended a decades-old conflict between the British-governed home nation of Northern Ireland and radicalised republicans, who wanted to see the territory annexed by the neighbouring Irish Republic, which gained its independence from Britain in 1922. The Agreement has been regarded as a success, although a small number of so-called Dissident Republicans who refuse to accept it continue to fight, albeit on a smaller scale.

One such group, the ‘New IRA’ shot a police officer last month.

Now, The Times reports the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) believe there is “very strong” intelligence a dissident group intends to launch “gun attacks and bomb attacks” in the coming days, as the country prepares to welcome President Biden on Tuesday.

The PSNI specifically believes there is a plot to attack police officers in Londonderry on Easter Monday, the day traditionally associated with the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule. The report cites police spokesman Simon Byrne, who said: “We are now dealing with a severe terrorist threat, which means that an attack is highly likely right across Northern Ireland.

“The thing to stress is the main focus of these attacks continues to be police officers, both on and off duty, and their families. It will also include prison officers and military personnel.”

A separate police statement cited by the Telegraph saw Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton say that there is  “a real concern that there may be attempts to draw police in to serious public disorder and to use that then as a platform to launch terrorist attacks on police as well.”

President Biden was asked by reporters last month whether the recent raising of the Northern Ireland terror level would cause him to reconsider visiting Ireland for the Good Friday Agreement anniversary. He responded at the time: “No. They can’t keep me out”.


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