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Northern Ireland police arrest man in investigation into bomb-making by 'New IRA' dissidents

Northern Ireland police arrest man in investigation into bomb-making by 'New IRA' dissidents
Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a 52-year-old man as part of an investigation into bomb-making activities by the self-styled New IRA, following a search for explosive devices in the Creggan area of Derry City.

Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray called the arrest a “significant development” in the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) investigation into the activities of the dissident republican group.

In a statement released after the arrest, Murray warned that “the New IRA continues to pose a very real danger, most especially to the communities in the areas where they construct and store their bombs and guns.”

They have a chilling indifference to hiding lethally dangerous weapons and bombs in places where local people can easily stumble across them.

Officers also carried out a search in the area, as well as a forensic examination of a house, as part of the effort to uncover sites where the New IRA is suspected of making and storing weapons.

Thursday’s arrest was part of a “discrete, stand-alone strand” of the PSNI’s main operation targeting the New IRA, called Operation Arbacia, which is a joint security effort to curb the activities of the group and to arrest members who commit illegal acts.

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The New IRA surfaced in 2012 after the merger of splinter republicans who had refused to recognise the Good Friday Peace Agreement, the Real IRA, and the vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs. The New IRA has been linked to a number of murders and attacks in recent years, including the killing of two prison officers and the separate shooting of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee.

Thursday’s arrest was part of a “discrete, stand-alone strand” of the PSNI’s main operation targeting the New IRA, called Operation Arbacia, which is a joint security effort with the PSNI and MI5, to curb the activities of the group and to arrest members who commit illegal acts.

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