​Game of Thrones bomb scare: N. Irish police foil terror attack on set

Motorcycle officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Reuters/Michael Cooper)
Police in Northern Ireland say they have intercepted a plot by dissident Republicans to bomb the set of the top-rated fantasy TV show Game of Thrones.

The plan to attack workers on the series, which is filmed at Paint Hall Titanic Studios in Belfast, came to light after an informant spilled details to police officers.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) then responded by increasing security at the threatened location.

A number of former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and army personnel staffed on the site are thought to have been the intended target.

It was discovered the dissidents even knew details of which catering facilities their targets used while on breaks and had planned to strike them there.

READ MORE: ‘Close, aggressive surveillance’: UK Special Forces back in Northern Ireland

The plot is said to have been foiled several months ago, but was kept secret until now.

On Monday it was revealed UK Special Forces soldiers are operating in Northern Ireland on a large scale for the first time in 10 years amid heightened fears of terrorism in the run up to the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Both the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA are said to have become increasingly active in recent times.

Intelligences sources quoted in the Daily Star newspaper said up to 60 members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) are in the region.

One source told the paper that heightened dissident activity and the increased terror threat were linked to the approaching centenary of the Easter Rising – a period of Irish history which remains highly emotive.

Another described the unit’s role as “close, aggressive surveillance.”

READ MORE: ‘Game of Thrones’ sculptor’s statue stolen, pagans blame religious hate

This is not the first time violence has marred the show. In March 2013 cast member Charlie Mantle, who previously appeared in the series Casualty, had his ear bitten off at a hotel by a man whom he had asked to stop being noisy.

The incident took place in the early hours of the morning. The missing part was later recovered and stitched back on by surgeons.

Two men were charged, but later cleared.