Second man arrested by gardaí over documents link to London attacker

Special Detective Unit holds man in Wexford after man in Limerick released without charge

Rachid Redouane married a British woman at Dublin registry office in November, 2012, and lived in a flat in Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, south Dublin, around that time. Photograph: London Met Police/EPA

Rachid Redouane married a British woman at Dublin registry office in November, 2012, and lived in a flat in Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, south Dublin, around that time. Photograph: London Met Police/EPA

 

Gardaí have arrested a second man linked to Rachid Redouane, one of the three London Bridge attackers who killed seven people at the weekend.

The arrest in Wexford town took place at about 5pm on Tuesday when a property was also searched. As with the man arrested in Limerick on Monday evening, the suspect in Wexford is being questioned about documentation linked to the attacker.

However, the Wexford arrest was carried out by members of the Special Detective Unit, which investigates terrorism. He was held under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001.

The arrest in Limerick was carried out by gardaí working in the area of immigration.

The man arrested in Limerick was earlier released without charge after being questioned. It is understood the man was a foreign national and that gardaí are studying documents found in his possession.

Early indications were that detectives believed they had found links to Redouane, who had lived in Ireland in the past, in the documents. Gardaí are trying to determine if Irish identification papers found in the man’s apartment in Limerick are forged and whether at some point the arrested man was living under Redouane’s name. The man detained in Limerick was arrested on Monday night when his apartment was also searched.

Detectives are now trying to determine if there is any link between the man in Limerick and possible false documents supplied to Redouane. However, gardaí do not believe the man arrested is a terror suspect.

The Limerick arrest comes as gardaí are trying to piece together a picture of Redouane’s movements in Ireland.

The Garda confirmed an arrest had been made.“A man in his 30s was arrested on the evening of the 5th June 2017 for offences under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001,” it said.

“He was detained under Section 4 of Criminal Justice Act 1994. He has since been released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.”

Married in Dublin

Of Moroccan-Libyan origin, Redouane had failed in an asylum bid in Britain in 2009. He married a British woman at Dublin registry office in November, 2012, and lived in a flat in Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, south Dublin, around that time.

He then left Ireland and settled with his new wife in London. However, around the time the couple had a child, some 18 months ago, their marriage broke up.

Redouane has since spent time in Dublin, though it remains unclear how many times he had been here and how recently.

The 30-year-old pastry chef was not known to the Garda when he lived here. And he was also not known to any police or security forces in Britain.

Both the Irish and British authorities have confirmed that he had never come to their attention for extremism or indeed any other criminal matter.

He was one of three men who crashed a van into a shop front near London Bridge on Saturday night and then took the streets on foot for a stabbing attack.

Redouane and his accomplices, one of them wearing military-style combat fatigues and an Arsenal jersey, murdered seven people and injured 48.

However, when the police were told by witnesses the attackers were wearing suicide vests packed with explosives, the three assailants were shot dead on sight. The vests turned out to be fake.

They were dead within eight minutes of the first emergency call having been received by the London Met.

At the weekend, the police in London arrested 12 people for questioning about the three men who carried out Saturday night’s attack. However, all of those who were arrested in London have been released. And many of them were detained simply because they were close to some of three attackers or had lived with them.

Garda resources

In a statement on Tuesday, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said gardaí would released information about the attacker when it could.

However it was unable to do so when there was a live investigation under way.

The Tánaiste said the level of threat was unlikely but insisted there was no information to suggest one was pending.

The Minister said: “The level of threat from this source is kept under constant and active review by An Garda Síochána.

“The gardaí have in place the necessary operational measures in terms of intelligence, a well-trained and equipped special intervention capability and other national support resources. They are supported in this, as needed, by the considerable skills and resources of the Defence Forces.”

Ms Fitzgerald said she met with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. “An Garda Síochána will, as and when possible, put into the public domain as much information as possible, while ensuring that that investigation is not interfered with in any way,” she said.

Ireland’s intelligence services

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the State’s intelligence services are “as good as any others,” adding that the gardaí are in constant contact with counterparts in Britain and Europe.

He said that Ireland’s risk level remains at “moderate” meaning that the threat of an event is “possible but not probable,” as he noted that terrorist events such as the recent attacks in London were difficult to prevent.

“In so far as resources are concerned and capacity to deal with incidents or multiple incidences we are assured that there is no change in the status in Ireland from moderate and that means that an issue is possible but not probable, and that can only be based on intelligence levels and ours is as good as any others” he said.

Mr Kenny said it would “not be appropriate” to comment on the arrest this morning of a man in Limerick in connection with the attacks.

“These things as you know are very very difficult to prevent as happened unfortunately and tragically in London quite recently. But from a Government perspective, and from those dealing with the authorities directly, we are assured that issues and vents are being followed very carefully and very closely.”

Mr Kenny also said he “deplored” the attack on a mosque in Galway on Monday.

“The vast majority of Muslim people are peace-loving people and want to go about their business in the ordinary way and we respect that completely. I would deplore that kind of action.” He was speaking on the second day of his two-day trip to Chicago, his final visit to the US.

All three terrorists

In the UK all three London Bridge terrorists have been identified as security services prepare to launch a review into the atrocity amid mounting questions for police and MI5. The third attacker has been named as Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was living in east London.

He was stopped at Bologna’s airport trying to fly to Turkey in March last year amid concern he was intending to travel on to Syria, according to reports.

Zaghba (22) is said to have told Italian authorities “I’m going to be a terrorist”, while officers reportedly found Islamic State-related material on his mobile phone when they intercepted him.

He was prevented from continuing his journey to Istanbul, placed on a watch list and flagged to Moroccan and British counterparts, it was claimed. Italian media said authorities took Zaghba’s phone and passport but they were returned to him as there was insufficient evidence to accuse him of any terror-related offence.

There has been no official comment on the reports from UK authorities, but Scotland Yard said Zaghba was not a police or MI5 “subject of interest”.