Major 'Security Breach' Hits Biden's Visit to Northern Ireland
Police investigated a “security breach” ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Northern Ireland on Wednesday as a sensitive document that detailed the location of officers was found on a street in Belfast.
Pipe bombs were discovered in another Northern Irish city after police vehicles were attacked by masked men.
The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Police Service of Northern Ireland was alerted to the discovery of the security document by someone in the community.
The man who found the five-page document later called a BBC radio show to discuss its contents.
“It gives you details of roads being closed, who the commanders are, phone numbers,” the man said. “It’s a bit crazy it’s been lying about the street.”
Nolan exclusive: PSNI-Biden secret security document found laying in street pic.twitter.com/gHQcNxFPOd
— The Nolan Show, BBC (@BBCNolan) April 12, 2023
The PSNI said in a statement that it was aware of the “security breach” ahead of Biden’s visit.
“An investigation has commenced,” the statement said. “We take the safety of visiting dignitaries, members of the public and our officers and staff extremely seriously and will put the appropriate actions in place.”
Biden’s visit required what the Telegraph described as Belfast’s “largest policing operation in a decade.” In total, 2,920 police officers from across Northern Ireland were dispatched to secure the city.
The discovery of the document was not the only potential security threat in the area to generate headlines.
Reuters reported that on Tuesday, hours before Biden’s arrival in Belfast, police found four suspected pipe bombs at a cemetery near the city of Londonderry, about 70 miles northwest of Belfast.
One police official said, “The discovery of these devices was a further sinister and worrying development.”
Before the improvised explosives were found, a number of masked men threw Molotov cocktails at police vehicles in Londonderry, according to a separate Reuters report.
Ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit, police in Northern Ireland said several masked men attacked police officers in the city of Derry with Molotov cocktails and other items.Biden intends to visit Ireland on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/nFuFUT3sXQ
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) April 10, 2023
The British MI5 intelligence agency recently warned that the threat of domestic terrorism in Northern Ireland was “severe,” Reuters reported.
Biden’s trip to Northern Ireland came amid celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which largely ended decades of bloody civil conflict in the country.
The U.S. president will now travel to Ireland, according to the Telegraph.
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