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dissident probe Arrests made in Belfast and Derry as cops continue to investigate New IRA

"The New IRA continues to pose a danger, especially to the communities in the areas they live and conduct their activities. Not least is their willingness to put local people at risk in their reckless haste to carry out bombings and shootings.”

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The PSNI's Terrorism Investigation Unit have arrested two people in Belfast and Derry as part of investigations into the activities of the New IRA.

Both arrest operations happened this morning.

A 38-year-old man was arrested in north Belfast as part of Operation Arbacia, which was set up to investigate the activities of the republican crime gang.

As part of the operation, eight men and two women have been charged by police investigating the organisation since August.

The man, who was arrested under the Terrorism Act, was taken to Musgrave serious crime suite where he is currently being questioned.

In a separate operation in the Creggan area of Derry local officers supported by Terrorism Investigation Unit detectives conducted searches as part of an ongoing investigation into a number of violent gun attacks in recent months.

A 39-year-old was arrested under the Terrorism Act and the police also seized a number of electronic goods, including mobile phones.

He was also taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning.

Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, Head of Serious Crime Branch, said: “Today’s arrests demonstrate that despite significant progress against the New IRA, we cannot be complacent in any way about investigating their activities. The New IRA continues to pose a danger, especially to the communities in the areas they live and conduct their activities. Not least is their willingness to put local people at risk in their reckless haste to carry out bombings and shootings.”

He added: “They also think nothing of using their guns against people in the communities where they live, mutilating a number of men and teenagers, particularly in the North West.

"The brutal injuries they inflict on people are a stark violation of people’s basic human rights. And in addition to the inhumane treatment of their victims, they are putting the NHS under increasing pressure during the pandemic which is beyond reckless.

“I would ask that anyone with information on their activities, especially the brutal attacks they carry out or the location of the guns and explosives which they often leave in public areas, to tell the police.

“Our investigations are most effective when police and communities work together.”

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