Royal Marine commando Ciaran Maxwell pleads guilty to terrorism charges

A Royal Marine has admitted hoarding explosives and making bombs for a Northern Ireland-related terror attack.

Ciaran Maxwell, 31, of Exminster, Devon, but originally from Larne, Co Antrim, was arrested on 24 August 2016 by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s counter terrorism command, supported by Avon and Somerset and Devon and Cornwall Police.

He pleaded guilty to the preparation of terrorist attacks between January 2011 and August 2016.

According to the charge details, he had a stash of explosives in purpose-built hides in England and Northern Ireland and compiled a library of terrorism documents, including instructions on how to make explosives and tactics used by terrorist organisations.

He also had maps, plans and lists of potential targets for a terrorist attack and images of an adapted Police Service of Northern Ireland pass card and a PSNI uniform.

He bought chemicals and components and went on to manufacture explosives and devices, the court heard.

Maxwell was also charged with possessing images of bank cards for fraud and possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

The dissident republican bomb hid found at Capanagh forest in Larne

He appeared before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey via video link from Woodhill jail and spoke only to confirm his name and enter guilty pleas to all the charges.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on a date to be fixed.

The material in Northern Ireland was found at two separate hides in parks in Larne by “people out walking”.

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