Two ar­rests made over group pos­ing as Ku Klux Klan mem­bers out­side Co Down Is­lamic cen­tre

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

TWO men have been ar­rested fol­low­ing re­ports that a group of peo­ple dressed as Ku Klux Klan mem­bers posed for pho­to­graphs out­side a Co Down Is­lamic prayer cen­tre.

Im­ages cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia pur­port to show in­di­vid­u­als dressed as mem­bers of the far-Right group in New­tow­nards last month.

The sus­pected in­ci­dent hap­pened on Oc­to­ber 27.

The group is un­der­stood to have posed near an Is­lamic prayer house.

The PSNI launched a hate crime in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, two men, aged 33 and 36, were ar­rested.

Brian Kee said the pair were ar­rested in the New­tow­nards area dur­ing planned searches.

He said a num­ber of items were seized and re­moved for fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion.

“The 33-year-old man was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of dis­play­ing writ­ten ma­te­rial to stir up ha­tred or arouse fear, and on sus­pi­cion of pos­ses­sion of a Class C con­trolled drug,” he said.

“The 36-year-old man was arSu­per­in­ten­dent rested on sus­pi­cion of dis­play­ing writ­ten ma­te­rial to stir up ha­tred or arouse fear.

“Both men have since been re­leased on bail pend­ing fur­ther enquiries. There are no fur­ther de­tails at this time.”

Al­liance MLA Kel­lie Arm­strong wel­comed the devel­op­ment which she said has given the en­tire com­mu­nity con­fi­dence in the PSNI in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“I’m glad that po­lice have moved on this,” she said. “We all needed to see swift ac­tion in or­der to give ev­ery­one con­fi­dence that this is be­ing taken se­ri­ously.

“Many peo­ple will be re­as­sured by this.”

The in­ci­dent was roundly con­demned by lo­cal politi­cians.

Last year, a pig’s head was placed out­side the same cen­tre in New­tow­nards.

Peo­ple dressed as Ku Klux Klan mem­bers out­side the Is­lamic cen­tre in Ards

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