It is understood MI5 planted microphones and secret video surveillance cameras at premises used by the New IRA to hold meetings over the last six months.
It was part of an operation by the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit to target senior figures at the top of the ‘New IRA’, codenamed ‘Operation Arbacia.
Appearing at a special sitting of Belfast Magistrates’ Court today, was 50-year-old Patrick McDaid, from Magowan Park in Creggan.
Paddy McDaid was charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, directing terrorism and preparatory acts of terrorism.
A second man, 26-year-old from Shane Reynolds, from Lurgan, appeared at the same video linked hearing charged with membership of a proscribed organisation, directing terrorism and conspiracy to possess explosives and ammunition.
Both were remanded in custody to Maghaberry prison to a later date.
Seven other people – five men and two women – who were arrested with McDaid and Reynolds on Tuesday during raids in Derry, east Tyrone and north Armagh – remain in custody for questioning.
It is claimed the first ‘New IRA’ meeting took place in February this year at a rented building between Cookstown and Omagh.
A second meeting was held last month in Gortin, Co Tyrone, which was also under electronic surveillance.
There are concerns in dissident republican circles that the meetings may been compromised by a member of the New IRA in west Belfast who was working for the security forces.
In a report in today’s Irish News paper, the home of the republican is now empty after its contents were packed into a removal van on Wednesday and that friends and acquaintances have been unable to contact him.
Solicitor Ciaran Shiels, who represents one of the nine arrested, told the newspaper: “An issue that is emerging is the possible activity of a British agent provocateur in connection with the arrangement, facilitation and logistical support for both meetings and entrapment of the individuals said to have attended.”
The newspaper reports that at least one of the meetings, those who attended were addressed by the ‘Chief of Staff’ and the ‘Chairman’ of the New IRA.Tags: