Special Reconnaissance Regiment return to NI service

The MI5 [added link] assessment of the threat of attacks by republican paramilitary groups has been upgraded to “severe” and the UK’s Intelligence & Security Committee Report for 2007/8 has revealed that MI5 allocated 15% of its resources in 2007/08 to countering “Irish-related terrorism”. Full report here and the UK Government response [both pdf files]. Meanwhile, BBC NI home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney reports that members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment have returned to service in Northern Ireland. Adds At the Policing Board today, Chief Constable Hugh Orde responded to claims by Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey that the threat was “being overstated” – “I’m not in the business of talking anything up. I say it as I see it, I have consistently done that for nearly seven years. Currently, I think the threat is high.” Update As Mark notes in the comments zone, Vincent Kearney’s online report seems to have disappeared.. And An updated version of Vincent Kearney’s report is now back online. Adds Chief Constable Hugh Orde on the deployment of SRR members

“MI5 lead on intelligence-gathering nationally now, and what I have asked for is no different from what any other chief constable would ask for facing the current terrorist situation here. “We are talking about a very small number of people who increase my technical capacity. They have no operational role. They support my policing operations, which are undertaken by my police officers.”