Monday 21 May 2018

Police seize 'significant quantities' of terrorist related weapons

Some of the paraphernalia recovered Photo: PSNI
Some of the paraphernalia recovered Photo: PSNI

Rachel Farrell

Police in Northern Ireland seized "significant quantities" of terrorist related weapons during an extensive 12-day search operation.

Explosives, ammunition, two shotguns, four handguns and component parts for bomb making are just some of the terrorist paraphernalia recovered in Lurgan, Co. Armagh and Benburb, Co Tyrone. 

The weaponry is believed to have belonged to two dissident republican groups- the Continuity IRA and Arm na Poblachta.

“These are all designed to do one thing – to murder. Many of these highly dangerous items were found in locations where members of the public could easily have come across them," said Detective Superintendent John McVea from the Terrorism Investigation Unit, after the completion of the search from April 29 until May 11.

Photo: PSNI
Photo: PSNI

"This demonstrates the sheer recklessness and absolute lack of concern these terrorists have about harming people living in these communities."

Detective Superintendent John McVea said he was "sickened" to discover a pipe bomb next to a nursery during the search.

"Who in their right mind would put the lives of young children at risk? I do not know how long it has been lying there so the reality is that parents have been walking past this twice a day while taking their children to and from nursery.

"If it had detonated, it would almost certainly have killed or at the very least caused serious injury."

The PSNI said that the searches will send a "clear message" to anyone involved in terrorism in Northern Ireland, and encouraged residents to report any suspicious activity to them.

“We will carry on working with the local community to take these shameful people off our streets and keep people safe. These recent events have shown how great results can be achieved when police and the community work together."

Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

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