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Britain’s MI5 chief has warned that Dissident IRA groups are planning attacks in England.

Jonathan Evans stated that ‘Counter-terrorist capabilities have improved in recent years but there remains a serious risk of a lethal attack.

The MI5 Director-General said here had  been a ‘persistent rise’ in ‘activity and ambition’ by dissidient IRA groups over the past three years which represented ‘a real and increasing security challenge’.

He also stated the  dissident groups have access to Semtex which was the explosive most used by the Provisional IRA and that dissident IRA groups were working closer together than ever.

Evans told an invited London audience: ‘This has led to a position where this year we have seen over 30 attacks or attempted attacks by dissident Republicans on national security targets compared to just over 20 for the whole of last year.

‘In addition we have seen an increasing variety of attack techniques used, ranging from shootings to under-car devices to large vehicle bombs. At the same time we have seen improved weapons capability, including the use of Semtex.

‘The vast majority are directed at the security forces.

‘But the terrorists are reckless, often putting members of the public at risk. While at present the dissidents’ campaign is focused on Northern
Ireland we cannot exclude the possibility that they might seek to extend their attacks to Great Britain as violent Republican groups have traditionally done.”