Police arrest 3 Irish dissidents on terror suspicions

British police say they have arrested 3 senior Irish dissidents and charged them with a range of terror offenses.

Northern Irish police said the three men were charged Friday with offenses such as conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion, preparation of terrorist acts and collecting information of use to terrorism. The men were arrested in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland on Monday as part of a "proactive investigation" into dissident republican terrorist activity.

A British official says the operation was intelligence-led but is not thought to be connected to the Olympic torch relay, which is due to pass through northern Ireland next week. It also is not believed linked to the London Olympics or Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee celebrations.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

The men will appear in court Saturday.