ISIS may be working in Northern Ireland with former Provos, claims Ukip's McNarry
An ISIS cell could already exist in Northern Ireland, and former members of the IRA may be training them in bombmaking, Ukip MLA David McNarry has claimed.
In an interview in today's Belfast Telegraph, Mr McNarry said he is very fearful of the threat from ISIS.
MI5 has currently classified the current UK threat level for international terrorism as severe, adding that a terrorist attack is highly likely.
Mr McNarry said he is concerned that our international border is not secured and has vowed to campaign to have it tightened up.
"I am just not convinced that Northern Ireland is protected from an ISIS attack," he said.
"I am really worried and will be very active on it, on tightening up our border. It is just so porous and there are so many undesirables are crossing that border.
"I am reasonably sure that it will be confirmed that there are former Provos working with ISIS in the south and also in Europe. I can't say whether there is an ISIS cell in Northern Ireland but if there is I am relying on the Chief Constable to root them out.
"How ISIS works is they will recruit other people and will also recruit people from other terrorist organisations who have technology or knowledge that they need. I am pretty sure that that is already happening [in Northern Ireland]."
Last November the PSNI described the level of threat from international terrorism in Northern Ireland as "moderate".
But in response to an inquiry from the Belfast Telegraph, they said it was severe then and remains severe now. A spokesman apologised for this error.
"The error did not diminish operational capability, our ability to keep people safe or increase any risk to the public," he said.
"If anyone has any information about terrorist activity or training in Northern Ireland, either local or international, they should report it to police."
Mr McNarry said the threat needs to be dealt with.
"Any real unwarranted increase in Islamist activity, you won't hold back racism," he said.
"We have got to hold it back, we have got to have police on top of it, but we have also got to have that community - who are usually very good at divorcing themselves from radicals - got to have that community here in Northern Ireland.
"They have to emerge with the rest of us in unison against ISIS activity. It is a big onus on everybody."
Mr McNarry also revealed that he plans to challenge for a Stormont seat representing West Belfast at the elections in May. There has not been a unionist MLA for west Belfast since 2007 when the DUP's Diane Dodds lost the seat she had won in the 2003 election.