The New IRA’s alleged leadership were secretly recorded planning acts of “mayhem” and a potential joint venture with a Middle Eastern grouping, a court heard today.
Details emerged as bail was refused to a grandmother facing terrorist charges following a major police and MI5 investigation.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard evidence in the case centres on audio and video recordings from alleged gatherings at properties in Sixmilecross and Omagh in February and July.
“These meetings were of the highest echelons on the IRA,” prosecution counsel submitted.
“They (involved) two senior members of the IRA Army Council addressing members of the IRA Executive.”
“It was a group which is intent on mayhem and serious terrorist offences, meeting to prepare, direct and discuss those offences,” the prosecutor contended.
Defence lawyers have repeatedly raised concerns over potential entrapment and the role of a special agent in the operation.
But the prosecution insisted any assertions about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) being used to obtain authorisation were incorrect.
He described McCabe as a mother and grandmother with a clear record who has lived in the Lurgan area all her life.
“She should be given the benefit of the doubt and would comply with any bail conditions,” Mr O’Keefe added.
However, District Judge Peter Magill held that the alleged offences were “as serious as one can envisage”.
“Those matters involved the discipline, the finances and the acquisition of material by which terrorist acts can be carried out in the context of an organisation which calls itself the IRA,” Mr Magill said.
“There are indications of connections with Middle Eastern organisations also, exploration of joint ventures and exploration of attracting finance and training.
“There are also discussions in respect of discipline within the organisation (and) there are discussions of terrorist acts in furtherance of the aims of at least one Middle Eastern organisation.”