Two undercover gardai arrested a violent thug suspected of being behind a campaign of intimidation against an innocent family after the victims' home was targeted twice in less than a week.
The male and female undercover officers pounced on the 28-year-old suspect in the Crumlin area of Dublin at 1.20am on Wednesday.
The family had previously endured major threats and intimidation.
In late October, a car connected to the family was badly damaged in an arson attack.
Gardai believe the incidents are being orchestrated by a 28-year-old jailed criminal, who has links to the Kinahan cartel.
The undercover operation was put in place after windows in the property were smashed on Monday and Thursday night of last week.
The officers, from Sundrive Road Garda Station, were in place when the hooded suspect - who also had his face covered - approached the family's property in a car with its lights off.
When the officers identified themselves, the criminal tried to flee and is understood to have disposed of a weapon before he was quickly arrested.
While in custody, he was questioned about the two previous attacks on the house, when front windows were broken.
His clothes were seized for forensic testing before he was released without charge later on Wednesday morning.
A file will now be prepared for the DPP.
CCTV from the area is also being reviewed by gardai.
The campaign of intimidation has been launched because a family member is a wit- ness in an ongoing serious garda investigation, sources claimed.
The arrested man has previous convictions for public order and other offences.
His associates have been involved in a bitter local feud in the Crumlin area and an older close associate of the thug received a major beating last December as part of this dispute with other violent local criminals.
Sources said gardai have been investigating if the suspect arrested on Wednesday has been taking orders from a Kinahan-linked criminal, who is currently behind bars and cannot be named for legal reasons.
The jailed Crumlin criminal has around 100 convictions and was previously jailed for a savage attack on a club doorman.
He had links to cartel criminals such as Tallaght enforcer Paul Rice Snr and slain gangster Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh, who was shot dead in Spain in September 2014.
Apart from his assault conviction, the thug also has two previous convictions for violent disorder and more than 30 for public order offences.
It is understood that the man arrested this week is his closest ally and regularly visits him in prison, where it suspected he has been told to continue the campaign of intimidation that has been ongoing for more than five months.
"The intimidation that this family have endured has been a lot to endure for them and there were concerns that it could escalate from criminal damage incidents to even more serious incidents," a source told the Herald.