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British serviceman arrested in North Ireland terror probe

Police apprehended the 30-year-old under an intelligence-led operation

Published: Updated:

A British serviceman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of terror offences as part of an investigation into Northern Ireland-related terrorism, police said.

The 30-year-old was arrested in Somerset, southwest England, on suspicion of being involved in the preparation for acts of terrorism, police said in a statement.

“Today’s arrest was pre-planned and intelligence-led as part of an investigation into Northern Ireland-related terrorism,” the statement said.

No armed police were involved and there was “no intelligence to suggest an immediate threat”.

Searches were under way at an address and a wooded area in Devon, southwest England, and in Northern Ireland.
The Ministry of Defense said it was aware of the arrest and would assist the investigation.

The 1998 Good Friday peace accords largely ended the three decades of deadly violence in Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles in which 3,500 people were killed.

However, the threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism within the province has been set at severe -- the second-highest of five levels -- since it was first set in 2010.

The level, determined by the MI5 domestic security service, means an attack is considered highly likely.

The threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in the rest of the United Kingdom was raised one level from moderate to substantial -- the third-highest level -- in May this year, meaning an attack is considered a strong possibility.