Irishman wanted over missiles plot

THE United States is seeking to extradite from South Africa an Irishman wanted in connection with a plot to supply the IRA with sophisticated surface-to-air missiles for use against Army helicopters in Northern Ireland.

The man, Peter Eamonn Maguire, was held at Pretoria airport this week, and is detained in jail awaiting a hearing on 6 January. Maguire, 56, who had an address in Co Dublin and is described as a senior electronic systems engineer, is wanted to face federal criminal charges in the US.

In August 1990, four men described as associates of Maguire were jailed by a Boston court.

They were said to have conspired with Maguire to develop new high-technology weapons for attacking helicopters and new types of radio-controlled bombs.