Police during the raid on Colin Winters’ house in Ardcarn Park, Newry
The court heard that suspects in the property had been recorded discussing potential targets for attack, including specific police officers.
Potential attacks against judges were also discussed, along with weapons training, funding for terrorist activity and plans to get weapons, a prosecution lawyer added.
A PSNI detective involved in the case told the court the suspects were "leading key figures of a proscribed organisation".
Among the seven men who pleased guilty to terror charges was veteran republican Patrick Joseph 'Mooch' Blair (64) of Lissara Heights, Warrenpoint, Co Down.
Blair was once named in the House of Commons as having "helped to construct the Omagh bomb" and involvement in a string of other attacks.
He later denied any involvement with the 1998 atrocity, which killed 29 people.
In 2002 Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson spoke under Parliamentary privilege to name Blair in connection with the attack.
He said Blair was "a man who is a member of the Provisional IRA and who helped to construct the Omagh bomb".
In 1975 Blair was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted murder.
He was released in 1982.
Blair strongly denied any involvement in the Omagh bomb attack.
Another CIRA associate of Winters - Liam Hannaway (50) - hit the headlines this year when he applied for permission to take his partner across the border for a holiday while he was on bail awaiting sentencing.
Hannaway had pleaded guilty to charges of belonging or professing to belong to a proscribed organisation, providing weapons and explosives training, conspiring to possess explosives, firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life. His request was denied as it was thought he was likely to flee the jurisdiction.