IRA 'explosives expert' arrested on Costa del Sol

18th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 August 2005, MALAGA — A wanted IRA explosives expert is arrested in a tourist hotel popular with Britons on Spain's Costa del Sol.

18 August 2005

MALAGA — A wanted IRA explosives expert is arrested in a tourist hotel popular with Britons on Spain's Costa del Sol.

Leonard Hardy, 44, had been under surveillance by Spanish police for days after a tip-off from their British counterparts.

Hardy, from Antrim, Northern Ireland, is wanted by German authorities for the bombing of British barracks in Osnabruck in August 1989.

He is also wanted for the attempted murder of a worker in Germany who is said to have stumbled upon the IRA cell before the attacks at the Osnabruck barracks.

The base was badly damaged in the attack in June 1989, but no-one was injured.

Also police here say the arrested suspect is wanted in connection with five bombs which were to be used in the attack.

He was arrested by armed police late on Wednesday night.

The suspected terrorist had been staying at the Hotel Sol de Principe in Torremolinos, a popular haunt for British tourists.

British police had asked Spanish officers to mount a surveillance observation at the hotel to trace the alleged IRA terrorist's contacts. 

In 1990, Hardy was sentenced to five years in prison in the Irish Republic after being caught with explosives getting off a ferry in Rosslaire.

Spanish police sources said Hardy was considered an explosives expert.

He was expected to be sent to Madrid and then should face extradition proceedings to Germany.

This is the latest arrest of wanted IRA terrorists who have chosen to hide out in Spain.

In October last year, Michael Gerard Rogan, 44, was arrested in the Playa de las Americas, in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.

He was accused of taking part in a fatal IRA bomb attack on the Army's Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1996.

One soldier, Warrant Officer James Bradwell, 43, was fatally wounded and 31 others were injured in the attack on the Army base.

Rogan had been wanted by police since 1997 when he failed to appear in court in November 1997.

He agreed to be extradited from Spain to Northern Ireland. Mr Rogan has denied terrorist charges.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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