Man in court charged with terror offences following weapons find

A 34-year-old man has appeared in court charged with possession of explosives and assault rifles in Northern Ireland.

Brian John Carron is also accused of having mobile phones and vehicles for use in terrorism between May 2010 and April 2011.

He was detained in the Coalisland area of Co Tyrone on Tuesday morning.

The arrest relates to the seizure of ammunition and weapons at a garage in the Mountjoy Road area of the town in 2011.

Carron, from Colliers Lane in Coalisland, appeared in the dock at Dungannon Magistrates' Court flanked by prison officers.

There was a police presence in the courthouse and a handful of his supporters were in the courtroom.

He was charged with possession of two mobile phones and four vehicles for use in terrorism.

He was also accused of possession of explosives with the intent to endanger life.

The charge said he had unlawfully and maliciously in his possession Semtex explosive, rocket propellant, eight detonators, home grenade initiators, glucose powder, component parts of an improvised rocket system, power units and improvised incendiary devices.

The court was also told he was accused of possession of four AKM assault rifles, six loaded magazines and ammunition with intent to endanger life or damage property.

A detective inspector said he could connect the accused to the charges, which all relate to 2010 and 2011.

Carron's lawyer, Peter Corrigan from KRW Law, said DNA evidence in the case against his client was taken in 2011.

The court was told the DNA was sent to testing laboratories in the UK but a connection to the offences was not established at that time.

It went for further testing in the US in 2016.

Following questioning from the solicitor, the detective confirmed that as a result of forensic advances a connection was made in April 2017.

Mr Corrigan asked why, when the case was established last year, the defendant was not questioned about it until this week.

He said he would make a bail application in a week's time and the detective said that would be opposed.

District Judge John Meehan remanded the accused in custody.

As he was led away he was applauded by friends and family in the public gallery.