Swoop is ‘linked to arms dumps of Northern Ireland dissidents’
A SERVING Royal Marine is being quizzed about Northern Irelandrelated terrorism offences.
Counter terror police arrested the 30-year-old, who sources named as Ciaran Maxwell, on suspicion of being linked to preparing for acts of terrorism.
He is being questioned at a West Country police station after being held at an address in Taunton, Somerset. Police searched a house in Exminster, Devon, and nearby woods, and at least two houses in Larne, Co Antrim. The arrest is part of an operation against Northern Irish gangs with dissident republican sympathies.
It is believed to be linked to two arms dumps found in Carnfunnock and Capanagh parks, near Larne. An armour-piercing rocket and two antipersonnel mines were in the cache at Capanagh in May. Pipe bombs, rifle bullets and bomb parts were hidden in barrels in Carnfunnock.
The suspect is believed to come from Northern Ireland and is a member of 40 Commando unit. As a Marine he would have access to hundreds of rounds of ammunition, guns and possibly even explosives.
The current threat to Britain from Northern Ireland-related terror is ranked as “substantial”.
The MoD said: “We are aware of a police investigation involving the arrest of a member of the Armed Forces under the 2000 Terrorism Act and will assist this investigation fully.”
QUIZZED Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell