Skip to main content

Go to:   
Guardian Unlimited
Guardian Unlimited Web
Guardian UnlimitedSpecial reports
Home UK Business Audio Guardian Weekly The Wrap News blog Talk Search
The Guardian World America Arts Special reports Podcasts News guide Help Quiz

Special report Northern Ireland

  Search this site

Go to...
Special report: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland archived articles

 In this section
Real IRA suspect arrested in Lithuanian arms sting

Real IRA man's brother arrested in Lithuania weapons sting

Northern Ireland schools to be 'more accountable'

Henry McDonald: What happened to ... Comfort Adefowoju

Why Europe victory was Best's downfall

Law and order Belfast-style as two men are forced on a 'walk of shame'

Omagh widower calls Flanagan in civil action

Catholic church under pressure to stop sale of paedophile's book

Troubles enough

Irish police press for Taser guns

Police board calls in independent experts to re-examine Omagh bombing evidence

Man cleared over Omagh calls for inquiry

Police suspend use of discredited DNA test after Omagh acquittal

Bombers at large after nine years

Evidence valueless and police lied, says murder case judge

6pm GMT

Real IRA man's brother arrested in Lithuania weapons sting

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
Wednesday January 23, 2008
Guardian Unlimited

The brother of a Real IRA leader is one of two Irish citizens detained in Lithuania on suspicion of buying a large quantity of firearms and explosives for the dissident Irish republican terror group.

Prosecutors in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, announced the arrests today after a lengthy "sting" operation in the city.

Irish security sources named one of those involved as Michael Campbell, 36, from Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co Louth. His brother Liam has served two prison sentences for Real IRA activities.

A woman was the other person being held after the operation by Lithuanian police, the Garda Siochana and British security services.

Lithuanian police posing as arms dealers met with Campbell and the woman in Vilnius on Tuesday, the sources said.

They allegedly sought arms destined for a breakaway faction of the Real IRA, which has divided into two rival groupings.

The Real IRA faction allegedly involved is run by Liam Campbell, who has strongholds around Dundalk, south Armagh, Derry and Cork.

In recent months his group has been trying to restart its terror campaign and has targeted Catholic recruits to the Police Service of Northern Ireland for assassination.

The group's Derry unit was responsible in November for the attempted murder of a Catholic PSNI officer taking his son to school. The target, Jim Doherty, survived with multiple shotgun wounds.

The faction is estimated to have around a dozen members, but among them are experienced terrorists from the Provisional IRA.

Following Michael Campbell's arrest, Irish police carried out searches last night in Dundalk and along the border with Northern Ireland.

Four years ago, Michael Campbell was at the centre of a Real IRA cigarette smuggling racket worth millions of euros. Police raided warehouses in Holland and the Irish Republic. Campbell was found guilty of cigarette smuggling by a Dutch court and jailed for four months in the Netherlands.

Over the last decade the Real IRA has sought to buy weapons in the former Soviet bloc and the Balkans. Eight years ago it was caught in a sting in Croatia trying to buy rifles, explosives and rocket launchers.

The Real IRA killed 29 people in the 1998 Omagh bombing and has refused to disarm following the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

Printable version | Send it to a friend | Clip


Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008