The threat level from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain has gone up from moderate to substantial. It means an attack in England, Scotland or Wales is "a strong possibility". Home Secretary Theresa May said the level, set by security service MI5, "reflects the continuing threat from dissident republican activity". The level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland remains "severe", meaning an attack is "highly likely". Mrs May confirmed the change of threat level relating to Great Britain - meaning three of the four countries of the UK - in a written statement to Parliament.
Seven teenagers walked past a Ford Fusion car parked outside a court in Bishop Street, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, at 7.39pm on January 19. CCTV footage captured the group laughing and joking as they walked down the street and out of vision. Thirty minutes later, the same CCTV camera showed the car exploding in a ball of flames, the sound wave ricocheting throughout the small city nestled in the valley of the River Foyle, causing the windows and doors in houses two miles away to tremble. Rewind the CCTV footage 46 minutes, and the car can be seen being driven into the street and parked before a young man wearing a hooded sweatshirt gets out and runs away. Police efforts to investigate the attack in the following days were hindered by continued security alerts and hoax bomb threats.
A Royal Marine from Northern Ireland has pleaded guilty to offences related to dissident republican terrorism, including bomb-making and storing stolen military weapons. Ciarán Maxwell, 31, appeared via video link at the Old Bailey in London. He was arrested in Somerset last August after the discovery of two dissident republican arms dumps near Larne, County Antrim. He also pleaded guilty to drugs and fraud charges. Maxwell admitted assisting another to commit acts of terrorism between 2011 and 2016.
Northern Ireland's Sinn Fein has said that the homes of former leader Gerry Adams and another prominent party member have been attacked with explosive devices. Police said on Saturday there were "remnants of large industrial, firework-type devices, capable of causing serious damage or injury" at the scene of the attacks. An explosive device was thrown at Adams' home in Belfast overnight, and another one targeted the home of the party's former Northern Ireland Chairman Bobby Storey. Adams told journalists that no one was hurt in either attack, but that two of his grandchildren had been in his driveway 10 minutes before and could have been killed. The Belfast attacks came after days of street violence in Northern Ireland's second city Londonderry, which police blamed on Irish nationalists opposed to a 1998 peace deal that Adams helped to broker.