BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — A 21-year-old Belfast man has been charged with possessing an Irish Republican Army mortar weapon used to strike police armored vehicles.
Brendan Campbell offered no plea during his arraignment Monday in a Belfast court. He was denied bail.
Campbell was arrested Friday after police discovered a specialized IRA mortar system that is designed to fire an armor-piercing shell sideways into a passing police vehicle.
Police found the weapon hidden in Ardoyne, an IRA power base in north Belfast, in a backyard shed belonging to Campbell's grandmother. They say his fingerprints were retrieved from plastic bags containing the mortar system, a heavy-duty battery and a command wire used to fire the weapon remotely.
Most IRA members have observed a cease-fire since 1997, but small splinter groups remain active.