Counter-terror squad raids the home of dissident republican figure because of alleged benefit fraud

The PSNI has raided the home of a Belfast dissident republican, saying it formed part of an investigation into suspected benefit fraud.

By Adam Kula
Friday, 4th March 2022, 12:00 pm

The Facebook page for Saoradh Béal Feirste (the Belfast branch of Saoradh (a largely Londonderry-based grouping) said on Wednesday that “crown forces” were searching the home of the city’s chairman.

They did not name the chairman, but said: “Our activist, who recently tested positive for Covid and is feeling very unwell has had her home swamped by masked Crown Forces for hours.”

When this was put to police, they responded by saying: “Officers from the PSNI’s Terrorism Investigation Unit carried out a search of a property in west Belfast yesterday morning (Wednesday).

“The searches are part of an investigation into suspected benefit fraud.

“A number of items have been seized and enquiries are ongoing.”

Saoradh is the group which released a statement in the wake of the killing of Lyra McKee in Londonderry in 2019, saying she had been shot dead by “a republican volunteer [who] attempted to defend people from the PSNI/RUC”.

Most of Saoradh’s social media accounts were subsequently taken down.

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