PSNI search country park in Royal Marine terror probe

PSNI search country park in Royal Marine terror probe

Police are searching a country park in the North as part of a terrorism investigation which prompted the arrest of a British Royal Marine.

Ciaran Maxwell, 30, from Larne, Co Antrim, was detained by Metropolitan Police officers in southern England in a planned swoop last week. He is still being questioned.

The investigation is linked to the discovery of two dissident-related arsenals in woodland in the North earlier this year.

Officers have returned to Carnfunnock Country Park near Larne, where they found bomb-making items in March.

Last Wednesday's arrest operation involved searches at a house and wooded area in south Devon, England. Searches at the property in Exminster and nearby Powderham New Plantation woods continued the following day.

Officers searched a number of properties in Larne last week and carried out fresh inquiries this week.

Maxwell is being detained on suspicion of preparation for acts of terrorism.

While the threat posed by violent dissident republicans in Northern Ireland has been classified as severe for a number of years, in May the UK intelligence services raised the threat level in Britain from moderate to substantial.

Two separate hauls of weapons were discovered in Carnfunnock and Capanagh parks within three months of each other.

Police said four barrels were unearthed at Carnfunnock - two were empty but two contained a variety of bomb-making components, including wiring, toggle switches, circuit boards, partially constructed timer power units, ball bearings and a small quantity of explosives.

An armour-piercing improvised rocket and two anti-personnel mines were among the cache recovered at Capanagh in May.

PSNI search country park in Royal Marine terror probe

Several pipe bombs, magazines and ammunition for an assault rifle, and bomb component parts and command wires were also concealed in barrels in purpose-built holes in woodland.

Larne is predominantly unionist/loyalist, so the finds led to initial speculation that they could be linked to loyalist paramilitaries. However, after assessing the weaponry, police concluded they most likely belonged to dissident republicans.

Maxwell has been detained in custody for another week.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "We have a warrant for a further detention from a court for seven days."


More in this Section

Jail for rape and abuse of brother: 'He became my biggest villain'- victimJail for rape and abuse of brother: 'He became my biggest villain'- victim

Irish man on Europol’s most wanted listIrish man on Europol’s most wanted list

Gardaí have taken 200 statements in Santina Cawley inquiryGardaí have taken 200 statements in Santina Cawley inquiry

'Not of Christian origin': Bishop of Waterford writes to schools criticising yoga in the classroom'Not of Christian origin': Bishop of Waterford writes to schools criticising yoga in the classroom


Lifestyle

These are the nail hues to choose this season, says Katie Wright.Perfectly polished: 5 autumn/winter nail trends you’ll actually want to wear

This early 19th-century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on Thursday (October 24).Irish lots poised to add bite to Big Apple sale

Something for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon, says Des O’SullivanSomething for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon

Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in DublinPreview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner