IFC NewsList - October 2001
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TUESDAY 02/10/01 17:04:48
FBI infiltration of Real IRA outlined
FBI agents working on a case involving the alleged leader of the Real IRA Michael McKevitt were diverted into the investigation of the terrorist attacks in the United States, the Special Criminal Court in Dublin was told today.
Prosecuting counsel George Birmingham SC said that the FBI had infiltrated the Real IRA and its agents had been going through more than 2000 e-mails up until September 11.
They were screening the e-mails to protect the identity of their own agents, the court heard.
The agents were then moved to work in the investigations in the aftermath of the World Trade Centre atrocities, but since been reassigned to the McKevitt case.
Mr Birmingham said they expected to have completed their work on the e-mails within two weeks.
The court was told at an earlier hearing that David Rupert, who worked for the FBI and British intelligence, was observed by gardai meeting Michael McKevitt on a number of occasions.
The court also heard that he successfully infiltrated the Real IRA leadership and attended their Army Council meetings.
The court has also heard that McKevitt allegedly met Mr Rupert over a two year period and asked him to acquire equipment for the dissident republicans.
The defence has written to the State seeking Mr Rupert`s statements, correspondence, memoranda, 2140 e-mails and records of Mr Rupert`s dealings with the FBI and British Intelligence in advance of a bail application.
McKevitt, 51, of Beech Park, Blackrock, Dundalk, Co Louth, is charged that between August 29, 1999 and March 28, 2001, within the State, he was a member of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann and that he directed the activities of the same organisation.
It is the first prosecution for directing terrorism under new legislation brought in after the 1998 Omagh bombing. Anyone convicted of the offence faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The court remanded McKevitt in continuing custody until October 23.