Appearing in the dock of Lisburn Magistrates' Court on Saturday, flanked by uniformed riot police, 47-year-old Paul John Duffy, his brother Damien Duffy, 42, and their cousin Shane Duffy, 41, were all charged with four offences relating to preparing acts of terrorism, conspiring to murder and conspiring with each other to cause an explosion.
However, Paul Duffy, from Ailsbury Gardens, faces further charges that on dates between 29 November, 2009 and 14 May this year, he directed the activities of a terrorist grouping, namely a dissident republican grouping.
Paul Duffy, along with Damien Duffy, from Campbell Walk and Shane Duffy, from the Kilwilkie Road, were all charged with collecting information and logistical information "with the intention of committing acts of terrorism" and with collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists.
All four also face a charge that on dates between 7 June last year and 14 May this year, they conspired to murder persons unknown and also that they conspired with each other to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
Detective Sergeant Gibson told the court he believed he could connect the three men to each of the charges.
Solicitor Joe McVeigh did not lodge any bail applications, he cross-examined the officer as regards the nature of the searches conducted at two of the defendant's houses and a police press release.
On Friday, a police spokesperson released a statement that the men had been charged following a PSNI led investigation having worked closely "with colleagues in the security services."
Mr McVeigh repeatedly asked DS Gibson which branch of the secret services had been involved and what their role had been but the officer, who said he was involved in the investigation, told the solicitor he did not know the answer to either question.
Turning to the nature of the house searches officers conducted at the homes of Paul Duffy and Shane Duffy, the officer agreed with the solicitor's suggestion that following on from the treatment children received at the hands of the Germans in WWII, the European Human Rights Convention set in stone certain rights for children.
He revealed that during the searches, conducted at 5am, officers video recorded the defendants' children and even asked them questions on camera, behaviour described by Mr McVeigh as "degrading."
As Colin Duffy and members of the Duffy family sat in the packed the public gallery, Mr McVeigh asked DS Gibson if he would give an "undertaking in a verifiable way" that the videos would be deleted and the officer agreed if it could be done, "it will be done."
The solicitor told District Judge Amanda Henderson the Duffy family believe that "their family are subject to persecution by the police and they want that ventilated".
"They feel that they're being persecuted and one would not have to stray very far from recent events to find a reason why that persecution would be happening," declared the lawyer.
Also on Saturday, at Omagh courthouse, three men and a woman appeared facing separate charges connected with dissident republicanism and an alleged terrorist training camp in Co Tyrone.
They were Terence Aidan Coney and Gavin Coney, both from Omagh, Sean Kelly, from Toomebridge and Sharon Rafferty from Pomeroy.
They were remanded in custody.
All four are charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for committing acts of terrorism, possession of a firearm and ammunition and attending a place used for terrorist training.
Ms Rafferty and Mr Kelly are also charged with directing the activities of a terrorist organisation while Mr Kelly faces a further charge of collecting information likely to be of use to terrorists.