According to local accounts, authorities in Northern Ireland may have discovered proof of a violent dissident plot before President Joe Biden’s arrival.
Leaders, including Biden, are set to convene this week in Northern Ireland to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which essentially ended a 30-year era of near-constant sectarian bloodshed known as “the Troubles.”
However, a dissident organization known as the New IRA is accused of putting together a terror plot to derail those preparations.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, the Northern Ireland Police Service conducted searches throughout the city of Derry, and a British Army Bomb squad was on the scene looking for pieces that might be used to create a bomb.
“Similar to the mortar attack on the police in Strabane in November, the New IRA is said to have planned some form of attack that would coincide with Biden’s arrival,” the source claimed.
In November, the New IRA claimed that they were responsible for detonating a bomb near a police patrol van in the Northern Irish town of Strabane. The incident left two police officers uninjured.
Last Monday, the White House revealed that Biden would visit the United Kingdom as well as Ireland from April 11 to 14. His first destination will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Biden is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.
The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement was signed 25 years ago, and according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden plans to “mark the remarkable achievements since that time and to underscore the preparedness of the U.S. to support Northern Ireland’s enormous economic potential to the advantage of all communities.”
Biden is set to attend the celebrations alongside British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. According to The Telegraph, several high-profile political heavyweights from throughout the world, including former President Bill Clinton along with his wife Hillary Clinton, are likely to visit Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
At the end of March, the United Kingdom’s security service, MI5, upped the terror threat level for Northern Ireland to “severe.” This followed the February shooting of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, which police placed on the New IRA.