Dissident republican attacks in Northern Ireland are decreasing.
It was revealed at the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday that there have been 25 attacks this year, compared to 40 in 2010.
However, justice Minister David Ford said that the threat level remained severe. Mr. Ford also said the principal targets were police officers.
In his reply to a question from DUP MLA Thomas Buchanan on the current level of dissident activity, Ford said a pipe bomb attack on the home of a retired police officer in Lawrencetown, County Down, in October illustrated that police were the principal targets of dissidents.
“But they have also conducted recent attacks on commercial premises and on the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture office,” he said.
“They have demonstrated disregard for those serving the community and for public safety. Those responsible have no regard for the harm they cause whether to people, or business or, indeed, our image abroad.”
The justice minister said the PSNI and Garda were continuing to work hard to tackle the threat. Over the past 12 months they had made significant arrests and arms finds.
“I would like to acknowledge their continued endeavors and co-operation in frustrating the efforts of terrorists,” he said.
“There have been significant successes both sides of the border in recent months.”
Mr. Ford said the way forward depended “not simply on police to provide the answer.”
“We need to continue to demonstrate to all terrorists that they have nothing to offer and that there are democratic means for engagement,” he said.