Swoop is ‘linked to arms dumps of North­ern Ire­land dis­si­dents’

Daily Mirror - - SQUARE EYES - BY ADAM ASPINALL and CHRIS HUGHES adam.aspinall@mir­ror.co.uk

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

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