BELFAST, Northern Ireland – An eighth man has been charged with Irish Republican Army-related offenses as part of a lengthy eavesdropping operation by MI5.
The British spy agency, which plays the lead anti-terrorist intelligence role in Northern Ireland, says it recorded conversations at several meetings of a splinter group called the Continuity IRA. Seven men allegedly identified on the recordings already have been charged with a range of crimes, including conspiring to kill, cause explosions and import weapons.
An eighth man, Joseph Pearce, was charged Wednesday with supplying tipoffs on potential targets during the recorded Continuity IRA meetings.
Prosecutors and police told a Belfast court that Pearce was recorded discussing the residences of several police officers and a prison guard, and the possibility of attacking British soldiers studying at a Northern Ireland university.