A Royal Marine has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences as police search a home and wooded area in Devon.

The marine was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command supported by officers from Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall Police, on suspicion of being involved in the preparation for acts of terrorism under section 5 of the Terrorism Act.

Scotland Yard say the suspect was held as part of an intelligence-led investigation into Northern Ireland-related terror.

The Ministry of Defence said:

“We are aware of a police investigation involving the arrest of a member of the Armed Forces under the 2000 Terrorism Act and will assist this investigation fully. It would be inappropriate to comment further on an ongoing investigation.”

According to reports, the 30 year old who is originally from Northern Ireland and serves with 40 Commando, was detained at an address in Somerset mid-day Wednesday.

For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland David Trimble called a “cold house” for Catholics.

In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, and chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems and sporadic violence has continued.

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