PFNI says new threat level justified
The Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI), Liam Kelly, says no one should be surprised by the raising of the terrorist threat level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’.
Mr. Kelly said: “This is a step backwards which means an attack is highly likely. There are terrorist and crime gangs in our community who wish to inflict great harm on our officers.
“These groups are committed to the money they made through illegal activities and redundant ideas dressed up as political objectives. The reality is they are dangerous people committed to undermining society and the safety of our officers who uphold the rule of law.
“Following the cowardly attempted murder of DCI John Caldwell in Omagh, and other attacks on officers, our colleagues have stepped up their personal security and exercise increased vigilance. Frankly, no one should be surprised by this latest MI5 intelligence assessmentwhich acknowledges the extent of the challenge.
“This escalation in the threat level is justified. One might reasonably ask why it was downgraded to ‘substantial’ in the first place when it was clear dissident republican groups were still actively wedded to causing murder and destruction.
“Our officers will not be deterred from doing what they have to do on behalf of our communities. They are at the forefront of the effort to rid ourselves of this scourge and I would appeal to the public to give colleagues all the help they can in closing down terrorist and crime gang activities.”