McKevitt plotted spectacular attack to overshadow Omagh, trial told

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The Independent Online

The alleged leader of the Real IRA, Michael McKevitt, hoped to develop a new and bigger republican organisation that could launch an attack "spectacular enough to overshadow Omagh", a Dublin court was told yesterday.

He was said to have told an undercover FBI agent that he had an American "sleeper" capable of assassinating targets such as Tony Blair. Mr Mc- Kevitt was also alleged to have said that four or six incidents a year such as the rocket attack on MI6 headquarters in London in 2000 would be "a good rate".

The agent, David Rupert, was giving evidence for the third day against Mr McKevitt of Dundalk, Co Louth, who faces charges of membership of the Real IRA and of directing terrorism. He is the first person charged under legislation introduced after the Omagh bombing in 1998.

Mr Rupert testified that he met Mr McKevitt about 20 times while working for the FBI and British intelligence.

Mr Rupert said Mr McKevitt had also been the quartermaster of the Provisional IRA, and when he left that organisation had control of its arms dumps "while Gerry Adams and his crowd" did not know where any of them where.

Mr Rupert said: "He was hoping to take the war ... to the financial district in the heart of the UK." Mr Rupert said he had delivered thousands of dollars from the US to Mr McKevitt's group. After consulting the FBI, he had given items such as a computer program that simulated trajectories of model rockets. The trial continues.

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