Agent Stakeknife & intelligence war in NI

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Cabbage_man, Apr 21, 2012.

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  1. I’ve been keeping an eye on this over the past few months. While nothing surprises me with regards to the intelligence war that was fought during Operation Banner, the ongoing Smithwick Tribunal set up by the Irish Govt. to investigate if there was Garda collusion in the deaths of two senior RUC intelligence officers in 1989 following a meeting with the Gardai in Dundalk, is raising some potentially sensitive matters.

    Of note recently The Belfast Telegraph has had two articles in which Stakeknife (aka Freddie Scappaticci) has been implicated in the murders by Ian Hurst, a “military intelligence whistleblower “ and also, supposedly through rather deceptive means, by former commander of UK Land Forces General Sir John Wilsey who was Army commander in Northern Ireland from 1990 to 1993.

    Freddie Scappaticci was our most valuable spy in IRA during the Troubles: British Army chief - Northern Ireland, Local & National -


    Secrets of a long-running intelligence war laid bare - News Analysis, Opinion -

    Short BBC piece:

    BBC News - Army agent gives Smithwick Tribunal evidence in private

    While this will not come as a great surprise to many with even some familiarity with the ‘troubles’ in NI, I was a somewhat surprised to learn that Hurst is claiming that up to 4 of the IRA active service unit that planned and executed the attack on the two policemen were working for one of the various British intelligence agencies operating in the province.

    If this is true, it does raise certain questions, not to mention exactly who (if at all) was deciding who lived and who died in order to protect sources, and if it is found that these two policemen were killed with the knowledge of the British Intelligence (in whatever guise) can it be justified?

    It seems to be likely that Scappaticci (by all accounts a nasty piece of work) as head of the IRA internal security team on numerous occasions tortured and killed ‘volunteers’ that he (and his handlers) knew were British informers/agents, in order to protect his senior position in theIRA.
    Few are party to the quality/volume of information he was feeding military intelligence and the good that it did in saving lives and bringing hostilities to a conclusion. But on the basis that this man and others like him did save lives (many British forces for that matter) should it make him/them deserving of some respect/recognition?

    If Martin McGuinness was found to be a ‘tout’ who fed high grade intelligence to us over the past 20-30 years, should our views towards him change?

    Thought I’d share and interested to know members thoughts, particularly those that served during Op Banner. Not sure where I stand.
  2. Ahhhh welcome to the dirty war..... still being fought on the streets of Northern Ireland......
  3. I can't say I have any direct experience of these matters, just following it through the media.

    It's always been claimed that a garda sergeant in Dundalk was feeding info to the Provos, and that this lead to the assassination of the two RUC men. The (now retired) Irish cop presented himself to the Smithwick tribunal to defend himself from these claims, and (if I recall correctly) was previously cleared by two internal Garda investigations.

    However, if there is truth in the Belfast Telly's claims that Provos in South Armagh were British military intelligence assets (not shared with RUC Special Branch), then it begs the question: who did the Irish cop think he was talking to?

    I admit I'm going out on a completely speculative wing here, but could it be that Irish cop spoke to someone he thought was British intelligence about the RUC officers' visit?

    At the same time, I'd be very wary of any story in the newspapers where the source appears to be 'Ian Hurst'.
  4. Tours there and for some of the worst events, especially 80-83 and 87-1990. As a squaddie nobody tells you and ordinary people doing ordinary things weren't privy to the big players and grown ups. Some big surprises and you didn't even know what the guy/girl in the other section was up to. It was never as simple as we thought and it was surely a dirty war. Who really knows where they stand, except it's quieter.
  5. Just came across this piece; McGuinness denies killings link - Yahoo! News UK

    McGuiness denying any involvement, I personally don't believe there will be any semblance of normality over there until the likes of McGuiness and Co cough up their involvements in events over there. One thing to note that IMHO, if the UK had the public relations bods that PIRA/Sinn Fein had, we would have done a damn sight better than we did, Those Fekkers always seemed to come out smelling of roses whilst the politicians over here were always shooting themselves in the foot.
  6. possible, been a while since I read it, I just remember things like the laundry service that 14 int (?) were running.
  7. Strange as it may sound at one point during the peace the British government was tutoring the provisional movement on how to critize the British government

    Sent from my iPhone using ARRSE app
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  8. They seem to have a history of doing pretty good without our assistance. the amount of propaganda own goals we scored on the likes of Gibraltar & Loughall etc, makes you wonder if PIRA infiltrated the UK press office?
  9. Oh I dunno - the "PR" of Loughall, followed by others like Coalisland and the Ballygawley Rd was clear enough. In an age before Spin dead Provos was message enough for most.
  10. 4 Square has had honourable mentions in NI open source material. That project was pre formation of 14 Int.
  11. This is an extract from a Kevin Myers article, published last year -

    " As the Sinn Fein movement trembled on the verge of destruction from the sheer weight of informers in it's upper ranks, with each meeting of the IRA Army Council resembling a liaison committee co-ordinating the different branches of British Intelligence."

    Those chinook trips to Scotland were meant to minimise the chances of blue on blue incidents in the humint world.
  12. Was Four Square Laundry not FRU?
  13. Alec settles a lot of questions for me and maybe a lot of people, who had the pleasure of stagging on with HM Forces on Banner.
    Great women, great scenery and coastline, the Ports and Morelli's. On the other hand, death, skulduggery and dread, at a time when sensible young lads should have been back home. Nine to five, shagging birds and drinking in safety. On second thoughts , **** that.
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