Police arrest three men over bugged CIRA leadership meetings

Police arrest three men over bugged CIRA leadership meetings

DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit have charged a man with two counts of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists.

It follows an MI5 bugging operation last month on a Co Down house being used for leadership meetings of the Continuity IRA.

The 44-year-old is due to appear at Newry Magistrates Court this morning.

Police have been granted more time to question two men, aged 41 and 54, who were also arrested on Monday.

It relates to an investigation that led to 12 people being arrested in Ardcarn Park in Newry, on 10 November.

Seven people have since appeared in court charged with terrorism offences.

Among those arrested and charged was senior dissident republican Patrick Joseph ‘Mooch’ Blair, who has been linked to the Omagh bomb atrocity in August 1998 which killed 29 people and two unborn children.

A court heard last month that the house at Ardcarn Park had been bugged by MI5 officers.

Acting on a warrant signed by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, MI5 technical officers broke into the home to plant hi-tech listening devices.

The bugs had been in place for three months while senior Continuity IRA figures met to discuss terror tacticts, the court heard.

The court heard they plotted to murder up to four judges and even smuggle a gun inside a loaf of bread into Maghaberry prison.

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