United Kingdom – Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said on the 1 Dec 14 that police officers were ramping up security levels in the region in a bid to thwart violent terrorist attacks. A group of republican extremists opposed to the peace process continue to engage in armed actions in Northern Ireland, with members of the security forces their primary targets. Last year Irish terrorists launched a number of attacks in Belfast in the run-up to Christmas, in a clear bid to cause maximum disruption and havoc in the traditionally busy festive period. In 2013 there were several attempts to carry out acts of terrorism from incendiary devices to Vehicle Bourne Improvised Explosive Devices but the group failed to have the effect they desired. Mr Kerr declined to state if the warning was based on intelligence, but said: "I think the fact we are putting out a statement that we assess there is a strong possibility that violent dissident republican groupings will attempt to carry out attacks in towns and cities throughout Northern Ireland will give you a strong sense of how concerned we are about this issue. 361 COMMENT: Prior to the Downing Street peace agreement being signed the terrorists in Northern Ireland always wanted to end the year by being as disruptive as they could prior to announcing a ceasefire and the start of the new year’s campaign. The dissident groups of the Province appear to be imitating those days of long ago but not as successfully. With the failure of the 2013 attempt they will no doubt plan and prepare much better this year so the threat issued by the PSNI will have some strength to it. COMMMENT ENDS
The British embassy in Cairo has suspended public services for security reasons, the Foreign Office has confirmed on the 7 Dec 14. A spokeswoman would not confirm the nature of the security issue, but said staff were working with Egyptian officials to enable work to resume.
The British Consulate-General in Alexandria is operating as normal, the Foreign Office website said. Members of the public were urged not to visit the embassy, which was also closed in 2013 during the protests that saw President Mohamed Morsi ousted. In its travel advice for Egypt, the Foreign Office urges vigilance. It says there is a "heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria." It adds: "Terrorists continue to plan attacks in Egypt. Attacks could be indiscriminate and occur without prior warning. "Foreigners could be targeted in tourist resorts or other locations frequented by foreigners. Previous attacks have almost exclusively targeted the security forces, their facilities and other government buildings. "You should take great care near these places." Canada followed suit on the 8 Dec 14. The embassy reopened again on the 16 Dec 14. No news or information as to the threat was given.