ANTI-TERRORIST detectives swooped this morning on addresses in Northern Ireland and England linked to the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr.
Raids were carried out in Omagh, Co Tyrone and the north west of England following fresh intelligence over the young officer’s murder.
The 25-year-old officer was killed by an under-car bomb outside his Omagh home in April 2011.
The PSNI said in a statement: “Detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, with assistance from officers in Cumbria Constabulary and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, are conducting a number of searches in Northern Ireland and north west England.
“The NI searches are in the Omagh area; the searches in England are in Cumbria. The search activity is in connection with the wider investigation into the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr in April 2011 and linked incidents. There are no further details at this time.”
Ronan Kerr, a Catholic new recruit to the PSNI, had recently completed his training when he was killed in the explosion at his home in the Highfield Close area of Omagh.
A bomb was fitted to the underside of his black Ford Mondeo car and exploded seconds after he started its engine.
A independent dissident republican group based in east Tyrone which was not affiliated to the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and Oglaigh na hEireann carried out the attack.
However, in the summer the east Tyrone unit combined forces with RIRA, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) to form a new group called ‘The IRA’.
A £50,000 reward remains on offer from Crimestoppers for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who carried out the murder.
The PSNI believe the group that killed Constable Kerr was also responsible for at least nine other dissident republican incidents.
One man has been charged in relation to the arms, ammunition, explosives and vehicles found at the garage on Coalisland’s Mountjoy Road, but no-one has been charged with Constable Kerr’s murder.
A key part of the investigation is finding the owner of the Coalisland garage.
PSNI Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray said detectives had identified some people who used the garage, but that they were still looking for others, including those who rented it.
“This is a long-term investigation with Ronan’s murder at its core but incorporating several linked incidents,” he said.
“It is an extremely large investigation which, as we said at the outset, will rely on detail to succeed.
“We believe we have identified some key individuals connected to the discovery at the garage at 187A Mountjoy Road.
“But we also believe there are other people, both men and women, who remain to be identified.
“This is an integral part of our investigation.
“We need to know who was renting these premises and who frequented them.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the PSNI in Omagh on 028 8225 6687 or via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111.