Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has confirmed that the chair of the six-county cúige Bobby Storey was arrested this morning.
“I was surprised to learn about the arrest this morning of our six-county party chair Bobby Storey,” he said.
“Bobby Storey is a valued member of Sinn Féin’s core leadership.
“He has played a leading role in the development of Sinn Féin’s peace strategy and is a long standing and loyal supporter, defender and advocate of the peace and political processes.
“We look forward with confidence to his early release.”
Mr Storey, a senior republican, is a former IRA prisoner.
The north Belfast man was involved in the Maze Prison escape known as the “Great Escape” in 1983, when 38 republican prisoners broke out of the H Blocks.
After serving over 20 years in prison, he became involved in developing republican politics and strategy.
On 11 January 2005 Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament for South Antrim David Burnside told the British House of Commons under parliamentary privilege that Storey was head of intelligence for the IRA.