Terrorist Spy Plot Foiled

A terrorist plot to intimidate and harass members of the Special Branch and their families has been foiled following the discovery of spy equipment in a hotel over looking Garda HQ.

Officers believe the Real IRA, whose leader Alan Ryan was murdered earlier this month, were behind the spy plan.

It is thought the dissidents planned to gather intelligence on key detectives and compile a dossier on their homes, families and leisure activities.

But the plot fell apart when gardai launched a counter-surveillance operation in Dublin and arrested two suspects.

The Real IRA surveillance began earlier this week when a man using a false name rented a room in the Harcourt Hotel, directly across the road from the Garda's Dublin headquarters at Harcourt Square.

Gardai believe it was the start of an intelligence gathering operation, which was due to be developed extensively after they had gathered details of the garda movements and the registration plates and descriptions of the vehicles used by the detectives.

Gardai became suspicious when they spotted the main figure of the plot in the area and identified him as an associate of Alan Ryan.

A counter-surveillance operation was set up and officers moved in on Wednesday evening. They arrested the 41-year-old dissident and another suspect, a 32-year-old man from Cabra, in Grafton Street.

A detailed forensic examination of the room was continuing last night as the Special Branch extended their inquiries into the spying operation.

Detectives have now been advised to take extra precautions about their personal safety and senior officers say they are determined to press ahead with their crackdown on all of the dissident groups.


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