27 attacks by terror gangs so far in 2016
There have been 27 paramilitary-style attacks here so far this year amid heightened concerns about the risk posed by violent Irish republicanism, the Government has revealed.
The threat level from Northern Ireland-related terrorism was raised from moderate to substantial in May, meaning a strike against the mainland is "a strong possibility".
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said in an urgent written statement to Parliament: "So far this year, the PSNI have recovered terrorist items including firearms, ammunition and bomb making equipment.
"There have been 59 arrests, of which eight individuals have been charged for terrorist-related offences."
She said republican and loyalist gangs conduct "brutal" criminal attacks in a bid to exert control over their communities.
Between January and May of this year, there were 27 paramilitary-style attacks, three of which were fatal.