Belfast Telegraph

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

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.

Superintendent 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 arrested 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.

Belfast Telegraph

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