A former republican prisoner has said he fears he is being set up by British security forces after he was detained by MI5 at an Italian airport.
Sean Dillon, from Coalisland in County Tyrone, said he was stopped by Italian authorities as he passed through Bergamo Airport, near Milan, last month and was taken to a side room to meet two men who said they were from a British security agency.
He says he refused to speak to the men and left the room but was stopped by Italian authorities.
He and his partner were eventually allowed to catch their flight back to Dublin after he challenged the Italian authorities on the legality of their actions. A child who was travelling with them became upset by the incident.
Mr Dillon spent more than two years in prison before being acquitted in February 2002. He was one of four men arrested near the scene where a rocket launcher was found, after he says he was lured to the area by an alleged double agent.
Mr Dillon believes he is again being deliberately targeted.
“They set me up once and they could set me up again,” he said. “Now they have gone to Italy they could go to any lengths. If they go to Italy, what is their next move?”
The Tyrone man, who describes himself as a republican, believes the security forces are attempting to make him feel vulnerable.
“This is psychological torture,” he said. “I am afraid they are going to set me up again.”
Meanwhile, the Republican Network for Unity in Dundalk have urged supporters in the area to remain vigilant after a relative of our member’s wife was approached by the Garda police Special Branch following an arrest.
The man is a distant relative of the wife of Peter McVeigh, former prisoner and founder member of RNU Dundalk. The man was told potential charges and accrued fines could be “swept under the carpet” if he worked on their behalf to provide them with information on Mr McVeigh.
RNU Dundalk secretary Ann McParland said it was a clear indication that RNU members could be arrested and imprisoned on “bogus charges” in the 26 Counties.
“This is clear example of political policing at its basest form, using normal policing for political purposes,” she said. “RNU will not be silenced”.