GREAT BRITAIN has had their threat level raised from moderate to substantial by the MI5 due to possible threats from Northern Ireland.
The Home Secretary Theresa May said the change indicates that there is a strong possibility of a terrorist attack as there is a continuing threat from dissident republican activity.
The Home Secretary, in a statement to the House of Commons said she was working closely with the police and other authorities to make sure all the necessary security measures are in place.
An attack is highly likely according to the British authorities as the rating remains at severe. In the UK the different terrorist assessments range from low, moderate, substantial, severe or critical – with critical meaning an attack is expected imminently.
Although the UK has, in recent years, remained on a high-risk rating, the threat from Northern Irish terrorism was last substantial in 2011, before being reduced to moderate in October 2012.
The threat from Northern Ireland has been growing slowly over the last couple of years. Prison officer Adrian Ismay, 52, died in March, 11 days after he was injured from a bomb attack.
Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson expressed surprise at the security assessment and is seeking an urgent Privy Council briefing to discuss it further.
The Lagan Valley MP said: “It is evident that dissident republicans are now active in Great Britain and are examining potential targets.
“Obviously that’s a matter of concern.
“We had no prior indication that the threat level had been increasing.
“In Northern Ireland, the threat has been severe for some time but quite clearly this is a new development in terms of dissident republican activity.”