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Police continue to question Royal Marine terror suspect Maxwell

By Michael McHugh

Detectives in England have been given another week to question a Royal Marine from Co Antrim who was arrested as part of a terror investigation.

Ciaran Maxwell (30), from Larne, was detained by Metropolitan Police officers in southern England in a planned swoop last week.

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

Police have been searching Carnfunnock Country Park near Larne again as part of the probe. They found bomb-making items there in March.

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

Officers also 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 here has been classified as severe for a number of years, in May the intelligence services raised the threat level in Britain from moderate to substantial.

Two 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 improvised armour-piercing rocket and two anti-personnel mines were among the cache recovered at Capanagh in May. Pipe bombs, magazines and ammunition for an assault rifle, bomb component parts and command wires were also found.

Belfast Telegraph


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