Royal Marine Northern Irish terrorist

Royal Marine Northern Irish terrorist
Ciaran Maxwell

Royal Marine pleads guilty to being a dissident Northern Irish terrorist

A Royal Marine from Northern Ireland pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey last week to offences relating to dissident republican terrorism.

Ciarán Maxwell, 31, appeared via video link where he admitted to bomb-making and storing stolen military arms.

He also pleaded guilty to drugs and fraud charges and confessed to assisting another to commit acts of terrorism between 2011 and 2016.

Maxwell was arrested in Somerset last August after two weapons dumps near his hometown of Larne, Co. Antrim were uncovered. He had stashed explosives in purpose-built hides in England and Northern Ireland, according to the charge details.

He had also compiled a collection of documents relating to terrorism, including instructions on how to make explosive devices and tactics used by terrorist organisations. Maps, plans and a list of potential targets had also been found, as well as the chemicals and components used to make the explosives, the court heard.

Police described it as one of the most important arms discoveries in recent memory, while court papers revealed that a total of 12 hides had been found.

During his hearing, Maxwell appeared only to confirm his name and to plead guilty to all charges.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

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