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Irish dissidents arrested on terror charges

May 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three senior Irish dissidents were arrested and charged with a range of serious and rarely used terror offenses, Northern Irish police said Friday.

The three suspects, ages 41, 42 and 42, were charged with offenses including conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, preparation of terrorist acts and collecting information of use to terrorism.

Northern Irish police said the men were arrested in Northern Ireland Monday as part of a "proactive investigation" into dissident republican terrorist activity.

Police said some of the charges have seldom been used in the past in Northern Ireland.

Law enforcement officials believe Irish dissidents could pose a threat to the Olympic games, which will be held between July 28 and August 7. The Olympic torch is passing through one of the most heavily bombed streets in Northern Ireland in early June.

But a British official said the three men arrested Monday are not believed to have been planning attacks on the Olympics, torch relay, or Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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