Lithuania Imprisons Suspected IRA Dissidents

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- A Lithuanian court has ordered two suspected Irish Republican Army dissidents to be imprisoned without charge after police allegedly caught one of them trying to buy explosives from an undercover officer.

Irish police said they followed Michael Campbell -- who is the brother of a Real IRA commander -- and a female companion on their weekend flight from Dublin to the Lithuanian capital.

Lithuanian authorities said Campbell, 35, and the woman were both arrested Tuesday after Campbell tried to buy explosives from an undercover officer.

"Both are suspected of intending to acquire large amounts of explosives. They are also suspected of supporting a terrorist organization: the Real Irish Republican Army," prosecutor Irmantas Mikelionis said.

Lithuania's State Security Department and Defense Ministry coordinated the sting operation in cooperation with Irish security agents, said Aurelija Juodyte, a spokeswoman for Lithuanian prosecutors.

A Vilnius court on Wednesday ordered Campbell to be detained for three months and the unidentified woman for two weeks, on suspicion of supporting a terrorist organization.

Juodyte said neither Ireland nor Britain has indicated that it wants to extradite the two suspects.

The Real IRA was founded in 1997 in opposition to the IRA's decision to cease fire that year and pursue peace talks with Britain and the British Protestant majority in Northern Ireland.