Belfast Telegraph

Terror accused ‘had bomb victim’s car number’

A man charged with terrorism offences told police he believed that car registration numbers contained in an envelope in his car were cattle numbers, a court has heard.

Michael Edwards (38), from Park Road, Strabane, was yesterday charged with having information which could be useful to terrorists between June 1 and August 11 this year.

A PSNI sergeant told Strabane Magistrates Court that the envelope was found in Mr Edwards’ car after police carried out a search.

It contained three car registration numbers, which police deemed significant as one belonged to the victim of a pipe- bomb attack in June this year.

Another belonged to a building contractor who had carried out work at Strabane police station, and the third to a businessman who occasionally carried large amounts of money. The sergeant said police believed the businessman could possibly be robbed.

Opposing bail, the officer said the town had “been plagued with pipe-bombs” and there was a strong possibility this would |continue.

He added police feared Mr Edwards would abscond to the Republic if released. Defence solicitor Canice |McManus said his client denied the charges and had told police he thought the numbers on the envelope were cattle numbers.

He said Mr Edwards, an unemployed father-of-three, told police he was 40 miles away on the day of the June pipe-bomb attack, and rejected any suggestion that he was a flight risk.

Refusing bail, District Judge Liam McNally told Mr Edwards: “There is a strong prima facie case against you and, while I am not concerned that you are a flight risk, it is significant that the first registration number on that envelope was the subject of a pipe- bomb attack.”

As Mr Edwards was being led out of court family members applauded and cheered.

He will reappear in court on September 23 via videolink.

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