US President, Joe Biden‘s visit to Northern Ireland next week has been overshadowed by a terror threat after a ‘strong’ intelligence of plans to attack was discovered, it has emerged.
The PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) confirms it has ‘strong’ intelligence suggesting officers could be targeted in Derry on Monday, the day before US President Joe Biden and PM Rishi Sunak are due to mark the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed on April 10, 1998.
According to schedule, Mr. Biden will arrive to UK on Tuesday evening ahead of a day of commemorative events marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement
The peace deal was a diplomatic feat that created powersharing in the province and brought 30 years of bloodshed largely to an end.
However, police in Stormont fear that dissident Republicans could launch attacks the day before.
Police Service of Northern Ireland chiefs said the force had received ‘strong’ intelligence of plans to carry out terror attacks against officers in Londonderry on Easter Monday.
On Thursday, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton said the force had received ‘strong’ intelligence that dissidents are planning to launch terror attacks against officers on the bank holiday.
It comes after MI5 recently raised the terrorism threat level in Northern Ireland to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.
This followed the gun attack in Co Tyrone on senior detective John Caldwell, who was left with life-changing injuries. Police have blamed the New IRA for the attack.
Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton said: ‘It’s going to be a really significant weekend for the PSNI.’
There is also very strong community intelligence specifically coming forward in respect of Monday’s events in Derry/Londonderry and 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.