Thursday 20 October 2016

'Significant' terrorist materials uncovered in 12 searches after arrest of Irish Royal Marine

Published 06/09/2016 | 16:28

Ciaran Maxwell
Ciaran Maxwell

Police have uncovered a "significant" amount of terrorist materials during searches in Larne.

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Officers descended on the Co Antrim town on August 24 and have carried out 12 searches in the past 13 days.

It followed the arrest of Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell in England. He has since appeared in court on terrorism-related charges.

The arrest and searches are related to terrorist hide finds in Carnfunnock Country Park and Capanagh Forest in Larne. Police believe the material is linked to dissident republicans.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr, head of PSNI’s Crime Operations Department said: “Since August 24 an extensive search operation has taken place in the Larne area.

“Police have searched 12 separate locations and recovered a significant amount of terrorist material including  explosive devices, component parts for explosives, chemicals for use in bomb making, ammunition and a firearm.

“These searches were part of a joint, ongoing, police operation between PSNI and the Metropolitan Police Service in London.”

ACC Kerr added:  "I would like to thank the community of Larne for their patience while these searches were ongoing.

"I am aware of the disruption this has caused to local residents and am extremely grateful for their co-operation and understanding.

"However, as I am sure the people living in Larne will understand, we will take no chances where their safety is concerned and, as a result of the significant terrorist material recovered, I am confident that the area, and Northern Ireland in general, is safer as a result.”

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