Man arrested on suspicion of terror offence linked to major PSNI data breach

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Terror Offence Linked To Major Psni Data Breach
PSNI data breach, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Jonathan McCambridge, PA

Detectives investigating criminality linked to a major PSNI data breach have arrested a man on suspicion of collection of information likely to be of use to terrorists.

The 39-year-old man has been detained after he was arrested following a search in Lurgan, Co Armagh.


He is being questioned by detectives at Musgrave serious crime suite in Belfast.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Hill said: “We are working tirelessly to address the risk posed to officers and staff.

“Today’s search operation, and subsequent arrest, is just one piece of a large-scale operation.

“We will continue in our efforts to disrupt criminal activity associated with this Freedom of Information data breach and to keep communities, and our officers and staff who serve them, safe.”



Last week, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) revealed a document had mistakenly been shared online in response to a Freedom of Information request which included the names of about 10,000 officers and staff.

Details released included the surname and first initial of every employee, their rank or grade, where they are based and the unit they work in.

This week, PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said he believed the information was in the hands of dissident republicans.


It followed the posting of documents from the leak on a wall near a Sinn Féin office in Belfast.

Many officers have expressed concern for their safety in Northern Ireland, where police are under threat from terrorists – with the current level of threat assessed as severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Earlier this year, dissident republicans were blamed for the attempted murder of senior PSNI detective John Caldwell.

King Charles III coronation
Archbishop Eamon Martin said he had spoken to the Chief Constable about the data leak (Liam McBurney/PA)

Meanwhile, the Catholic Primate of all Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, said he had spoken to Mr Byrne on Wednesday to express his concerns about the data leak.

He said: “In recent days I have spoken to several families and relatives of Catholic PSNI members.

“I wish to state my unequivocal support for all those who serve as police members or civilian support workers for the PSNI.


“I have previously encouraged young people from the Catholic community to consider a career in policing. Today I reiterate this sentiment.

“For that reason I also call on everyone in the community to reject entirely those who would intimidate or threaten the courageous women and men – including those from the Catholic community – who selflessly choose this noble vocation of policing.”

He added: “I am in no doubt that the future of peace and prosperity across the island of Ireland will depend upon respect and support for policing.

“Today I assured the Chief Constable that all members of the PSNI, and their families, are in my prayers at this time.”

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