MI5 upgrade threat assessment to “severe”

BBC NI home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney reports that – “The government and security services believe dissident republicans pose a greater threat than ever.”

The threat assessment has been raised to “severe”, meaning an attack is regarded as highly likely. The decision to upgrade the level was made by MI5 – responsible for gathering intelligence on dissident republicans.

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  • Dylan

    One wonders whats really going on here at times. Without using the seemingly dirty word “securacrat” it has to be said that MI5 are full of shit(pardon my French.) Apart from a few (failed) amateurish incidents dissident republicans pose no real threat whatsoever to the stability of this Statelet. Not only are they few in number and completely lacking in resources and support but they are so riddled with informers and spy’s that every action committed in their name is done with the prior knowledge of the spooks tasked with policing them. The P.S.N.I by themselves know the names and addresses of republican hardliners and could shut their operation down tomorrow (as they could have effectively done at any point during the conflict.) However fabricated news stories of this nature deflect public attention from the fact that loyalist paramilitaries have still failed to decommission and that they continue to maintain vast criminal empires.

  • The Raven

    Yeah, Dylan…in addition, every time I see this sort of “warning”, I am reminded of Michael Moore’s writing about fear being the key to control…

  • picador

    Dylan, you have it spot on. I wonder are they (MI5) plotting another Omagh. Looks like the UDA / UVF will have to hold on to their guns. What’s that you say? They’re controlled by MI5? Surely not!

  • fin

    overtime (and treples)all round I think, I’m struck my the fact that there’s been 2 major bank robberies in the last year or so(1xGB and 1xthe south) both solved really quickly and the Northern Bank? but they can still tell you about things that haven’t happened yet. Carling don’t do police forces but if they did………

  • al

    Carling don’t do police forces but if they did………
    Posted by fin on Mar 04, 2009 @ 08:59 PM

    I think you mean Carlsberg 🙂

  • Reader

    At last, it all makes sense now. Real republicans and real loyalists are all entirely docile and harmless. It was just the Brits, all along.
    Oops. They’re coming to take me away, ha-ha.

  • Wilde Rover

    Reader,

    “At last, it all makes sense now. Real republicans and real loyalists are all entirely docile and harmless. It was just the Brits, all along.

    Oops. They’re coming to take me away, ha-ha.”

    Yes, I imagine many supporters of the British “ideal” are driven to madness once the penny drops that NI was and is just a training ground to “blood” sqaddies and that the loyal defenders of the Union are merely expendable pawns.

    I imagine it must be the same for those who thought they were fighting for a “cause”.

    The truth is a bitter draught.

  • fin

    Al, D’oh, cab please

  • Ben Dover

    It seems like this truth is sweet enough for you though, wilde.

  • Reader

    Wilde Rover: Yes, I imagine many supporters of the British “ideal” are driven to madness once the penny drops that NI was and is just a training ground to “blood” sqaddies…
    Prize winner there, Wilde Rover – the biggest, most expensive and most embassassing conspiracy for the least purpose.
    Surely there were far, far cheaper ways to train soldiers? Or even some real-work instead of make-work?

  • Reader

    Oops – how embassassing/embarrassing.

  • Wilde Rover

    Reader,

    “Surely there were far, far cheaper ways to train soldiers?”

    Come come now, pay attention. The verb I used was “to blood”.

    Training is when you shoot over someone’s head. Blooding is something else entirely. After all, how can you judge the mettle of a soldier until they have been under enemy fire?

    And as for the cost, that is the problem of the English taxpayer and quite possibly the global consumers of various prohibited products.

    Ben Dover,

    “It seems like this truth is sweet enough for you though, wilde.”

    Yes, it is sweet, in a twisted sort of way, I’ll grant you.

    (By the way, for all the spooks reading this thread, let me the one to say that you are all doing a bang up job. Many find the observation of this subject matter distasteful, but I feel that it helps to allow one to see all facets of the human condition.)

    Now carry on arguing over whatever petty trifling inane repetitive whataboutery that floats the boat.

  • Wilde Rover

    be the one

    (plus the other one)

    bad hair day today

  • Ben Dover

    wilde rovers assertion that Northern Ireland was exploited by Her Majesty’s armed forces to familiarise soldiers with the business of killing can clearly be confirmed by statistics. The British Army, in their largest deployment since the second world war, clearly sought to familiarise soldiers with killing and to diminish human sympathy on their part and this is (and to be true it must be) reflected in the massive casualties inflicted on the population, under rovers terms, proving a policy where each soldier was required to do at least one murder.
    ……….
    Given that old rov seems to have broadened his implied definition of blooding beyond that commonly recognised, we should also point out that the British Army, with its United Nations, Nato and and ‘allies’ commitments clearly had no other option, in their myriad of third world engagements, than to contrive
    to exploited a civil emergency, inside UK territory, involving a fellow member of the united nations, as a real life war games scenario. The massive diplomatic,
    legal and personnel cost, and also the cost in civilian, aristocratic and parliamentarian lives resulting from engaging a terrorist organisation trying to annex a portion of UK territory through a campaign of violent persecution was clearly a happy coincidence for their primary objective of subjecting soldiers to the realities of violence, which are clearly specific only to Northern Ireland, and this is reflected by the instigatory manoeuvres frequently employed by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces therein. could it be that the British Army were in Northern Ireland to control a civil disorder situation and then to combat terrorist organisations committing atrocities against British citizens ? Or is it naive to suggest that while the experience gained was certainly useful, that the Army was not, and cannot be suggested in truth to be, primarily responsible for instigating the situation or indeed undertaking any action to suggest to the observer their exploiting of the situation as a training area as their primary concern ?

    The oft quoted adage that the truth hurts implies that the universality of truth causes a uniform dissatisfaction, by the way. The version of the ‘truth’ that satisfies prjudice and advances policy is, er, “opinion”

  • This thread is full of truly loopy paranoiacs.

  • sammy, i fully expect a dan brown novel to come out of this.

  • sevenmagpies

    Keith,

    “I fully expect a dan brown novel to come out of this.”

    Sounds ideal. And I imagine the first paragraph will be:

    Renowned blogger Jack Saturday staggered through the rain-swept streets of Belfast and lunged for the nearest bar he could see, the Crown. Grabbing the gilded handle, the twenty-six-year-old internet expert heaved the heavy oak door towards himself, until his hand slipped free and he spilled backward in a heap beneath the damp streetlights of Great Victoria Street.

    — and then it’ll be rogue government, eternal conspiracy and bright but cool but sexy cryptology, all the way.

    As to the substance of this “severe threat” business. I’m not convinced that they aren’t just making themselves look busy.

  • Earnan

    Funny. America didn’t need any to “blood” its troops in this manner, and they have proven far superior in the most recent theatres of war.

    The British Army isn’t a criminal gang that needs to blood its members. The training methods available are far more effective.

  • Wilde Rover

    Ben Dover,

    “Or is it naive to suggest that while the experience gained was certainly useful, that the Army was not, and cannot be suggested in truth to be, primarily responsible for instigating the situation or indeed undertaking any action to suggest to the observer their exploiting of the situation as a training area as their primary concern ?”

    A valid suggestion.

    There are, of course, unanswered questions: the origins of the infrared flash technology, the depth of infiltration, the issue of justifying defence spending…

    But I do concede that it is opinion rather than truth, and that you were quite right to call me on my poorly conceived claim.

    Sammy Morse,

    “This thread is full of truly loopy paranoiacs.”

    Responding to something by employing the catch-all smear of insanity was, of course, used to great effect under Stalin.

    However, this phenomenon can also be observed in Youtube-like comment sections, where “ZOMG, ur teh crazy!!!” is considered to be the cutting edge of a rapier wit.

    It seems that sometimes people are unable to formulate a cogent argument and are forced to resort to employing the use of a mental crutch.

    Of course, the natural instinct when confronted with an Ad Hominem attack is to take the bait, but taking such bait should be beneath us all.

    Earnan,

    “Funny. America didn’t need any to “blood” its troops in this manner, and they have proven far superior in the most recent theatres of war.”

    I think the “success” of covert war tactics in places like Basra would see them running pretty close.