(NewsNation) — In Northern Ireland, police have disrupted a potential terrorist attack, an attempted bombing, just days before President Joe Biden’s upcoming trip to the country.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, a group calling themselves “The New IRA,” a Republican paramilitary group, was planning to build a bomb and launch an attack that would coincide with Biden’s visit.
Although the report does not suggest that the group was targeting the American president, they planned the attack to occur during his visit.
The New IRA has launched several recent attacks, primarily targeting law enforcement. Their heightened activity prompted Irish officials to raise the country’s security alert level from “substantial” to “severe.”
Despite the recent terrorist activity, the news has not affected Biden’s travel plans. In response to a reporter’s question about the increased terrorism threat level, the President stated, “No. They can’t keep me out.”
Simon Byrne, the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, warned that the terrorist threat level was severe, indicating “an attack is highly likely right across Northern Ireland.”
Byrne stressed that the group’s primary focus for these attacks continues to be police officers.
Biden’s trip will begin in Belfast and move on to Dublin and County Leath before wrapping up with a visit to his ancestral home in Ballina, County Mayo.
This week, Ireland and the U.K. will mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of violence and sectarianism in Northern Ireland. The New IRA opposes this agreement, and it is part of the reason why the group has ramped up its attacks.