McDonald reported in March 2008:
- All reports on suspected al-Qaeda activities across Ireland are to be handed over to the head of MI5 in Northern Ireland, Trevor Harper. He is based at the new £20m headquarters inside Palace military barracks. Last week The Observer revealed that, in the event of a major terror attack on MI5's HQ at Thames House in London, command of the security services would be switched to Holywood.
The Sunday World reported in October 2009 the the Real IRA was planning to attack the new headquarters:
- The secure compound has been home for the past year to the new £20 million top secret MI5 'puzzle palace' headed up by the Director and Co-ordinator of Intelligence (DCI) Trevor Harper.