Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Ireland this week, including a stop in Belfast, Northern Ireland, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the US-brokered Good Friday Agreement.
The 1998 Good Friday Agreement ended decades of fighting between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland in a conflict known as the Troubles.
In 1921, six counties in Northern Ireland remained part of the UK while the rest of Ireland became an independent state creating a split between nationalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic of Ireland, and unionists who wanted to stay with the UK.
Beginning in the late 1960’s, armed groups from both sides of the conflict, such as the Republican Army (IRA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), carried out violence culminating with British troops being sent to Northern Ireland.
The almost 30 year period was marked with bombings and shootings that let to the deaths of more than 3,500 people and the injury of thousands more.
And now, ahead of Biden’s visit, police in Northern Ireland have announced they have thwarted a terror plot suspected to be planned by the “New IRA” to coincide with the visit.
Police in Northern Ireland have thwarted an IRA terror bomb plot intended to disrupt President Biden’s upcoming visit to Belfast on Tuesday, it was revealed Sunday.
Members of the paramilitary group, the New IRA, were allegedly looking to purchase bomb parts in Derry and scheming to build an explosive device to disrupt Biden’s diplomatic stopover, The Belfast Telegraph reported.
“They were looking for parts to make a bomb,” a source told the newspaper.
“The belief is that the New IRA was planning some sort of attack to coincide with Biden’s visit, similar to the mortar attack on the cops in Strabane last November.”
Last November, the group claimed responsibility for detonating a roadside bomb targeting a police vehicle in County Tyrone. Two cops escaped injury when the bomb exploded next to their car.
Thomas Mellon, the leader of the New IRA, wanted a “spectacular” way to undermine Biden’s visit, according to reports.
Allison Morris of the Belfast Telegraph shares details of the plot.
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