By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — Scotland Yard has issued a nationwide alert in Britain amid fears that republican dissidents are planning a spectacular attack during the Christmas or millennium festivities.
The statement follows reports that the Real IRA’s army council held a two-day meeting last weekend to plan a once-off attack in an effort to destabilize the peace process.
"There is a genuine and credible concern about the increased threat of violence, not only in Ireland but also on the British mainland from breakaway renegade groups who are opposed to the Irish peace process," a Scotland Yard statement said.
Police have warned about 30 major organizations, companies and
utilities about a possible attack. Security is being stepped on the streets of major British cities, especially in London.
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Potential VIP targets, including senior military and political figures, have also been warned to be extra vigilant.
In Dublin, a Gárdá spokesman said police would not be issuing a new alert.
"We have had an alert for dissident republican activity for some time and that operation remains ongoing," the spokesman said.
Since early October, gárdaí have carried out a series of raids on
dissident republicans in Donegal, Wexford, Dublin, Meath and Louth. About 30 have been detained for questioning and a number have been charged with firearms and explosives offenses.