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Northern Ireland police casting wide net for evidence of Adams' IRA past as detention persists

  • A man adds the finishing touch to a newly painted mural of Gerry Adams on the Falls Road, West Belfast, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, Friday, May, 2 2014.  Police continue to question the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams at Antrim police station about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    A man adds the finishing touch to a newly painted mural of Gerry Adams on the Falls Road, West Belfast, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, Friday, May, 2 2014. Police continue to question the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams at Antrim police station about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photo with her mother, Jean McConville, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland.  Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army's 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of McConville. On Friday, May 2, the senior Sinn Fein politician in Northern Ireland's unity government demanded Adams' immediate release, as police sought to extend his interrogation over McConville's murder.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, file photo, Helen McKendry holds a family photo with her mother, Jean McConville, at home in Killyleagh, Northern Ireland. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army's 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of McConville. On Friday, May 2, the senior Sinn Fein politician in Northern Ireland's unity government demanded Adams' immediate release, as police sought to extend his interrogation over McConville's murder. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Michael McConville, the son of Jean McConville who was murdered by the IRA, speaks to the media at the Wave Trauma centre in Belfast, Thursday, May, 1, 2014.  Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is still being questioned by police at Antrim police station after being arrested late Wednesday in connection with the murder of Jean McConville.  (AP Photo)

    Michael McConville, the son of Jean McConville who was murdered by the IRA, speaks to the media at the Wave Trauma centre in Belfast, Thursday, May, 1, 2014. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is still being questioned by police at Antrim police station after being arrested late Wednesday in connection with the murder of Jean McConville. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Former Irish Republican Army members and Sinn Fein party colleagues say Northern Ireland police are casting a wide net in efforts to prove that party leader Gerry Adams once commanded the outlawed IRA and ordered the 1972 killing of a Belfast mother of 10.

Details of evidence being sought emerged Saturday as detectives spent a fourth day questioning Adams about the IRA's abduction, killing and secret burial of Jean McConville. The IRA admitted responsibility in 1999. Her remains were found in the Republic of Ireland in 2003.

IRA veteran Peter Rogers says a detective approached him to testify against Adams but he refused. Rogers says Adams told him in 1980 to smuggle unstable liquid explosives to England.

Sinn Fein officials say detectives are questioning Adams about much of his writings.