Anti-terror police swooped on a house in Edinburgh yesterday following the arrest of a man at Heathrow airport.
The 62-year-old was held as part of a joint operation between police and MI5 into dissident republican organisation the New IRA.
The man, who lives in Scotland, was later transferred to a police station in Belfast for questioning.
Following his arrest, a bungalow in the Blackhall area of Edinburgh was searched by anti-terrorism officers from Police Scotland.
The raid was part of a joint operation between Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) overseen by MI5, called Operation Arbacia.
Detective Chief Superintendent Philip Chapman, head of Police Scotland’s Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “I can confirm that Police Scotland officers carried out a search under warrant of a property in the Blackhall area of Edinburgh yesterday to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Operation Arbacia.
“This was a contained operation and I would like to reassure the public that there was no threat to the wider community.”
It is understood yesterday’s arrest and the search in Edinburgh follows a long-running surveillance operation by MI5 against the New IRA leadership.
It’s believed that as part of the operation, the security services planted microphones and video surveillance cameras at premises used by the terrorist organisation to hold meetings this year.
Assistant Chief Constable Barbara Gray of the PSNI added: “Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Terrorism Investigation Unit have today arrested a 62-year-old man at Heathrow Airport under the Terrorism Act as part of Operation Arbacia, an ongoing investigation into the activities of the New IRA.”
She said the man had been taken to Belfast where he is currently being questioned at the Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.
Meanwhile, two terrorist suspects arrested earlier in the week appeared at a special sitting of Belfast Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning as part of the crackdown.
Patrick McDaid, 50, from Magowan Park in Creggan, Northern Ireland, was charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, directing terrorism and preparatory acts of terrorism.
A second man, Shea Reynolds, 26, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, appeared at the same video-linked hearing charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, directing terrorism and conspiracy to possess Semtex explosives and ammunition.
Both were remanded in custody. Seven other people – five men and two women – who were arrested with McDaid and Reynolds last week during raids across Northern Ireland – remain in custody for questioning.
Police in the Republic of Ireland also carried out six searches at locations in Dublin, Laois, Cork and Kerry.
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