ANTI-TERROR cops have arrested a serving Royal Marine in England over the discovery of two dissident republican arms dumps in a Co Antrim forest.
The 30-year-old man was detained in Somerset by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command.
The Met is working with PSNI which is conducting the searches on the Old Glenarm Road in Larne.
It is also working with police in Devon who are searching an address in Exminster and a wooded area nearby.
The operation is connected to the discovery of two arms dumps near Larne arlier this year, which were suspected to be linked to dissident republican paramilitaries.
In March, the PSNI said they had uncovered a “significant terrorist hide” of bomb-making components and explosives at Carnfunnock Country Park.
In May, a second significant arms cache, including an armour-piercing improvised rocket and two anti-personnel mines, was found at Capanagh Forest near Larne.
On Wednesday afternoon, at least two properties on the Old Glenarm Road in Larne were searched by PSNI officers while detectives in England searched an address in the Devon village of Exminster
The man under arrest is suspected of being involved in preparing for acts of terrorism
He is being held at a West Country police station.
Police said the arrest was pre-planned and intelligence-led as part of a collaboration between the Met, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the South West Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit.
The arrest was made at 12:20 BST by Met detectives supported by officers from Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall Police.
A spokesperson for 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.”