Man Arrested at Heathrow Airport as Part of Operation Arbacia

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Terrorism Investigation Unit have arrested a 62 year old man at Heathrow Airport under the Terrorism Act in connection with an ongoing investigation into the activities of the New IRA.

The man, who resides in Scotland and was arrested on August 22 as part of Operation Arbacia, has been brought to Northern Ireland and is currently being questioned. A property in Edinburgh, Scotland is being searched.

There are now a total of 10 people arrested as part of Operation Arbacia following a series of searches on August 18 and 19 and the arrest at Heathrow. Two were charged on August 22 in connection with terrorism offenses that are alleged to have happened from February 8 to July 20.

Searches continue both within and outside Northern Ireland as detectives search for individuals identified via covert activities alongside MI5 as part of Operation Arbacia, the ongoing operation against the New IRA.

The New IRA was formed in 2012 and comprises Irish republican splinter organizations that formed in opposition to the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. The group’s most recent high profile killing was the shooting of journalist Lyra McKee in April 2019. A statement issued by the New IRA in the aftermath of the attack expressed sympathy and apologies for McKee’s family and attempted to justify its actions as being part of a “defensive operation against enemy forces”.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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