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No plans to reduce threat level for NI-related terrorism in Britain

By Staff Reporter

There are no plans to reduce the threat level from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain despite the conviction of Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell, according to security sources.

A significant haul of weapons stashed by Maxwell in purpose-built caches in England and Northern Ireland were recovered, but the security services believe dissident republican terrorists still have the arms and capability to launch a deadly attack in Britain.

The threat level from dissidents was raised from moderate to substantial in May last year, meaning an attack in England, Scotland or Wales is "a strong possibility".

Following the discovery of Maxwell's arms hides last year, the PSNI said that a "major blow" had been dealt to the capabilities of dissident republicans.

However, fresh intelligence suggests there are still a number of individuals and small groups who have the arms, knowledge and capabilities to strike.

A security source said: "The security threat remains the same.

"There are currently no immediate plans to reduce the threat level."

Maxwell's intended targets remain uncertain, but police sources have described him as a "lone wolf".

He pleaded guilty last week to preparing for a terrorist attack by stashing explosives in purpose-built caches.

The 31-year-old, who is originally from Larne but was living in Exminster, Devon, was arrested over the discovery of firearms, high explosives, chemicals and a range of improvised explosive devices.

He had compiled a library of terrorism documents, including instructions on how to make explosives, and tactics used by terrorist organisations.

He also had maps, plans and lists of potential targets for a terrorist attack and images of an adapted PSNI pass card and uniform.

He is awaiting sentencing.

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