“It’s going to be a really significant weekend for the PSNI,” Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton told a press conference on Thursday, April 6.

“There is also very strong community intelligence specifically coming forward in respect of Monday’s events in Derry/Londonderry and a real concern that there may be attempts to draw police into serious public disorder and to use that then as a platform to launch terrorist attacks on police as well.

“So going into our operation that’s something that is very clearly right at the forefront of my mind, the minds of the commanders that will be delivering that, and of course our officers as well.”

The PA notes that Easter Monday is the day dissident republicans traditionally mark the anniversary of the Easter Rising rebellion against British rule in 1916, with a parade set to take place in Derry.

This year, Easter Monday is also the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, though PSNI assistant chief constable Chris Todd said on Thursday that there was no specific intelligence that the anniversary was acting as an additional motivation for dissident republicans to launch attacks.

Singleton said: “The intent remains the same. I think as I see it, it’s the risk, it’s the platform potentially, in particular, that public disorder may present.

“We don’t have to go too far back, sadly, to see precisely that kind of scenario playing out in Derry/Londonderry in the past.

“So that is absolutely something that’s in the mind of myself and the police commanders as we approach that event, and it will be something that we’ll have to keep under constant review depending on how things develop on the day.”

When asked whether guns or explosives could be used to target police in Derry, Singleton said: “We’ve seen that in the past and, on that basis, we have to be prepared for that and we will be prepared for all eventualities on Monday.”

Singleton was speaking the same day PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne addressed a Northern Ireland Policing Board meeting.

"We are now dealing with a severe terrorist threat which means an attack is highly likely right across Northern Ireland," Byrne said during the meeting, which was hosted just over a week after Northern Ireland's terror threat level was raised from "substantial" to "severe" by MI5, the UK's security force.

Byrne said on Thursday that the main focus of these attacks continues to be police officers, both on and off duty, and their families.

"The style of attack that we're dealing with and trying to frustrate is gun attack and bomb attacks on these people by a small number of dissident terrorists."

Byrne said it was necessary to increase operational capacity immediately.

Regarding the four-day Easter period, Byrne said a "significant policing operation" is in now place as 90 notified parades and events are taking place between Good Friday, April 7, and Easter Tuesday, April 8, as well as a full programme of football matches on Friday night.

"We've got command and control structures in place right across the country, and then these structures will flow into the arrangements for the visit of the President of the United States next week."

Byrne said planning is taking into account  the "risk and likelihood of policing non-notified parades," which could include "the display of paramilitary uniform and paramilitary shows of strength."

"We're also assuming that attempts will be made to draw us into a situation that may likely cause disorder over the next few days," Byrne added.

Byrne said the massive policing operation comes against the backdrop of a recent "dispute amongst criminality in the Ards and North Down area;" to date, there have been 13 arrests.

Byrne went on to discuss "Operation Rondoletto," the policing operation which wraps around all the Good Friday Agreement events that will begin with the arrival of Biden on Tuesday evening, April 11. The President will depart the following day.

Byrne revealed that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to visit Northern Ireland during Biden's visit.

The second phase of Operation Rondoletto will be between April 17 and 19 as a number of politicians who were in office during the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, as well as current office holders, will be in attendance at events.

Byrne said it was assessed that Operation Rondoletto will cost in the region of £7 million over the next few days, though that figure could change.