23 May 2006

M15 to increase NI resources


TUESDAY 23/05/2006 17:29:53

The Security Service, MI5, has been ordered to increase its resources in Northern Ireland.

This is to help the counter intelligence agency combat dissident republicans.

MI5 has been waging a war of wits against republican terrorists since the early 1970s.

In March 2005 it was announced that the Security Service would take charge of all intelligence work in Northern Ireland, from next year.

Both the Police Ombudsman, and the Oversight Commissioner of the PSNI have expressed their reservations about these plans.

While the Provisional IRA has disarmed, there is a continuing danger from republican terrorists.

Following a recent bomb find in Lurgan in April, there were reports that the Continuity IRA was planning a renewed campaign however loyalist terrorists have not gone away either.

MI5 is now preparing to take over prime responsibility for these threats.

More than a fifth of its total resources will be devoted to Irish counter terrorism.

Its estimated budget is £200 million and over £40 million of that will be spent in Northern Ireland.

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