Bomb threats ahead of Biden visit show peace in Northern Ireland tenuous
A President Joe Biden visit to Northern Ireland came with bomb threats in the region, showing that peace there is tenuous even 25 years after the Good Friday Agreement that put an end to regular attacks by terrorist groups there.
Law enforcement in the U.K. is worried that dissident groups could attack the region and bring Norther Ireland back to the days when terror attacks were common.
“[A]s recent events have demonstrated that a small number of people who want to drag us all back to the dark old days still exist. Recent dissident republican attacks are a stark reminder of this,” the Conservative government’s Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said in the U.K. Telegraph Monday.
“It’s a stark reminder of the fragility of peace,” he continued. “The peace provided by the Agreement must never be taken for granted, it marked the beginning of a journey; a journey to strive to build the best, most prosperous Northern Ireland its people deserve.”
Officials in the U.K. have raised the terror threat to severe for the first time in years, saying that the "New IRA" has plans to create chaos.
“[T]here may be attempts to draw police into serious public disorder and to use that then as a platform to launch terrorist attacks,” Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said but added that the police were “prepared for that”.