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Detectives investigating police leak arrest man after search in County Armagh

Detectives investigating criminality linked to a major Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) data leak have arrested a 39-year-old man.

The police revealed the man has been arrested on suspicion of being in possession of information “likely to be of use to terrorists”.

The man has been detained following a search in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in the southeast of Northern Ireland and 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 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 Fein 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.

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