Man further remanded on terror-related charges

ballymena court3
Ballymena Court.

A 29-year-old Larne man who faces terror-related charges has been further remanded in custody.

Niall Lehd of Seahill Road faces three charges including preparation of terrorist acts; possessing explosives with intent to endanger life and having documents likely to be of use in terrorism.

The specifics of the first charge are that ‘between the 1st day of January 2011 and the 28th day of February 2013, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism or assisting another to commit such acts, engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to your intention, namely manufacturing explosive substances; constructing explosive devices; creating and maintaining hides to store explosive substances, explosive devices, components for explosive devices, ammunition, weapons, tools and resources used during the construction of explosive devices and other assorted items linked to the preparation of an act of terrorism’.

The lengthy first charge also accuses the defendant of ‘purchasing or otherwise obtaining articles for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism specifically chemicals and components to be used in the manufacture of explosive substances and the construction of explosive devices, and conducted research resulting in the creation of a library of documents providing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism specifically information regarding the manufacture of explosive substances, the construction of explosive devices.’

The second charge Lehd faces is that ‘between 31st day of March 2016 and 28th day of August 2016, unlawfully and maliciously had in your possession or under your control certain explosive substances, namely, an Explosively Formed Projectile with an Erythritol Tetranitrate main charge, a Claymore mine, a quantity of pipe bombs, a quantity of plastic improvised explosives devices, a quantity of Ignitor safety fuse electric fuses, a quantity of ignition switches, a quantity of Erythritol Tetranitrate and a quantity of diazodinitrophenol, with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or to enable some other person so to do’.

The third alleges that Lehd ‘on the 26th day of August 2016, without reasonable excuse possessed a document or record containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely , instructions for downloading the Torrent (Tor) Browser’.

The defendant appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Magilligan Prison.

A police officer told the court it was a “large scale investigation” which had in excess of 1,000 “exhibits” and more than 250 statements.

He said the investigation began in 2013 and the defendant had been interviewed a number of times.

The officer said “fingerprint evidence” was being looked at.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said forensics in the case were due in mid-March and, further remanding the accused in custody, he adjourned the matter to February.

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