First picture of Royal Marine arrested on suspicion of Irish-related terrorism offences as part of MI5 probe


This is the first picture of a Royal Marine arrested on suspicion of Irish-related terrorism offences.

Ciarán Maxwell, 30, was seized by police at a Somerset address today.

He is reported to be a serving member of the British Armed Forces.

He is believed to live at the address in Exminster, Devon, with his partner Kerry O’Callaghan, 29, and a young child.

The Daily Mirror understands the arrest is part of an MI5-Counter Terrorism Police operation in hand with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Scotland Yard said the suspect was held as part of an intelligence-led investigation into Northern Ireland-related terror.

Neighbours said Maxwell was not often at the property and didn’t live there full time.

Maxwell is originally from Larne, Northern Ireland and was serving in the Royal Marines.

Neighbours described him as ‘aloof’ and said he kept himself to himself.

One neighbour said: “I just heard that they got the child and the girl out and he was arrested.

“I know the girl to say hello to. The guy is very quiet and not very friendly. We sometimes tried to smile at him but he never smiled back.”

“They have taped off and cordoned off the communal bins.

“We are all very shocked and very shaken up.

“We could not believe this was happening here to be honest. Everyone is very shocked.

“Everyone knows the girl but he was very rarely here.

“We have lived here since the houses were built about three years ago and they have probably been here a similar amount of time.”

Another neighbour said: “We are so shocked but we can’t say much. The police are obviously here and they are getting on with their job.

“We can’t really say much more than that.”

The man is being questioned at a West Country police station on suspicion of being involved in the preparation for acts of terrorism under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act.

He was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism SO15, supported by Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall Police forces.

The Ministry of Defence said: We are aware of a police investigation involving the arrest of a member of the Armed Forces under the 2000 Terrorism Act and will assist this investigation fully.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on an ongoing investigation.

The current threat to Great Britain from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is ranked as ‘substantial’ while the threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is ‘severe’.

It is believed mainland Britain is less under threat merely because the most active terror groups – dissident republicans – do not have the logistics to launch an assault outside Ireland.

And it is believed the arrest is just one component of a vast and complex operation by Mi5 against Northern Irish terror gangs sympathising with the dissident republican cause.

Unconfirmed reports suggested the arrest could be linked to two suspected dissident republican arsenals uncovered in forest parks in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

Two separate hauls of weapons were discovered in Carnfunnock and Capanagh parks near Larne, Co Antrim, within three months of each other.

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

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

In March bomb-making equipment was also found in nearby Carnfunnock Country Park.

Yesterday’s raid was a pre-planned sting follows an investigation involving the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the South West Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit.

News Source MirrorNews

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