MI5 officer denies creating bomb plan

AN MI5 officer denied yesterday that the organisation had set up a bombing conspiracy.

Helena Kennedy QC, defending one of two Irishmen accused of plotting a bombing campaign in Britain - suggested to the Old Bailey that MI5 instigated a raid on a Somerset quarry to steal explosives. But the officer - known as Mr C - told the court: 'We were always responding to the threat of a major robbery and campaign on the mainland.'

Miss Kennedy suggested to another MI5 officer - Mr A - that his organisation had needed 'a considerable intelligence coup' during discussions with the Special Branch about their intelligence roles. Mr A agreed, but said: 'That did not manifest itself to people on the ground.'

The court was told an MI5 'mole', Patrick Daly, led an Irish National Liberation Army unit into a trap last February. Martin McMonagle and Liam Heffernan, both 31, deny explosives and firearms charges. The trial continues today.