04/08/2011

Republican Anti-Police Photo Website Shut

The police in Northern Ireland are continuing to examine the how Irish republicans were able to publish pictures of serving police officers on Facebook amid claims it was an attempt to 'target police officers for murder'.

However, the website that was widely criticised this morning for putting police officers' safety at risk has now been shut down.

The republican group, Crown Forces Watch was earlier calling for people to post pictures of PSNI officers and details of security operations across Northern Ireland.

The Chairman of the Police Federation, Terry Spence, said overnight that the page should be removed as the site encouraged members to post images and details of police operations across Northern Ireland.

It had almost 300 members and was set up after the recent arrest operation by detectives investigating the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr.

"Over the past few days in East Tyrone and South Derry the Crown Forces the PSNI/RUC have launched a massive harassment and intimidation Campaign aimed at Irish Republicans", a description on the site read.

"We must work together to combat this campaign of intimidation and harassment, by working together as a fraternity opposed to this British oppression the aim of this group is to keep people updated on the attacks intimidation and ongoing harassment by the Crown Forces".

Meanwhile, a 68-year old man is due in court in Belfast today charged with four terrorist offences that includes two charges of having firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He is also charged with possession of items with a terrorist purpose and offences under the explosive substances act.

The man was arrested as part of an investigation into dissident republican activity on Tuesday in west Belfast.

Also this week, three men and a teenager were arrested in Londonderry in connection with dissident republican activity.

After a dramatic car chase and a vehicle being rammed by an unmarked PSNI vehicle in Derry, the men, aged 54, 42, 23 and a 16-year-old boy were arrested and taken to Antrim police station for questioning.

Yesterday too, another man was arrested after guns and ammunition were seized by police officers.

The 58-year old was detained after a car was stopped and searched by officers in Craigavon's Lake Road around 3.30pm and a quantity of counterfeit currency and approximately 400 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

Thirteen guns were seized during a further search of a house in the Portadown area.

It has also emerged that another gun has been found in Londonderry, police have said.

It was recovered during planned searches in the Springhill Road area of Creggan on Wednesday night.

(BMcC/GK)

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