northern ireland

have read a few books and saw some good vids lately,a must is the "loyalist,brits ,provo series by peter taylor, a great insight into the troubles, well worth a watch.and reading"pheonix"the story of ian pheonix, RUC special branch man killed in the "chinook mull crash in 1994,another dvd i own is"RUC FRONTLINE" on patrol with the RUC in 1985 shortly after the fatal mortar atack in newry,favorite book though is"bandit country"the IRA in south Armagh,compelling read,another intresting dvd is"dery brigade roll of honour" a community produced dvd honouring the kia from their community,some intresting stuff about.
Here is a list of the books currently occupying much of a book case that are specifically related to Northern Ireland and terrorism in general

Allen, G. (1999): The Garda Siochana: Policing Independent Ireland 1922 – 82, Dublin, Gill & Macmillan.

Barry, T. (1995): Guerilla Days in Ireland: A Personal Account of the Anglo-Irish War, Boulder, Roberts, Rinehart.

Barzilay, D. (1973): The British Army in Ulster: Volume 1, Belfast, Century Books.

Barzilay, D. (1975): The British Army in Ulster: Volume 2, Belfast, Century Books.

Barzilay, D. (1978): The British Army in Ulster: Volume 3, Belfast, Century Books.

Barzilay, D. (1981): The British Army in Ulster: Volume 4, Belfast, Century Books.

Birchall, P. (1997): The Longest Walk: The World of Bomb Disposal, London, Arms & Armour.

Bruce, P. (1996): The Nemesis File, London, Blake.

Collins, E. (1988): Killing Rage, London, Granta Books.

Coogan, T. (1995): The IRA, London, Harper Collins.

Curtis, N. (1998): Faith and Duty: The True Story of a Soldier’s War in Northern Ireland, London, Andre Deutsch.

Davies, B. (2003): Terrorism: Inside a World Phenomenon, London, Virgin Books.

Davies, N. (1999): Ten-Thirty-Three: the inside Storey of Britain’s Secret Killing Machine in Northern Ireland, London, Mainstream.

Davies, N. (2004): Dead Men Talking, London, Mainstream.

Dershowitz, A. (2002): Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge, New Haven, Yale University Press.

Dillon, M. (1991): The Dirty War, London, Arrow Books.

Dillon, M. (1994): The Enemy Within: The IRA’s War Against the British, London, Doubleday.

Doherty, R. (2004): The Thin Green Line: The History of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC, Barnsley, Pen & Sword.

Ellison, G. and Smyth, J. (2000): The Crowned Harp: Policing in Northern Ireland, London, Pluto Press.

Ganor, B. (2005): The Counter-Terrorism Puzzle: A Guide for Decision Makers, London, Transaction Publishers.

Gebler, C. (1992): The Glass Curtain: Inside an Ulster Community, London, Abacus.

Geraghty, T. (1998): The Irish War: The Military History of a Domestic Conflict, London, Harper Collins.

Gilbert, M. (1994): The First World War, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Gilmour, R. (1998): Dead Ground: Infiltrating the IRA, London, Little, Brown & Company.

Gray, T. (1997): The Lost Years: The Emergency in Ireland 1939-45, London Warner Books.

Gray, J. (2004): Al Qaeda and what it means to be Modern, London, Faber and Faber.

Gregory, E. (2004): Not Waving but Drowning: The Troubled Life and Times of a Frontline RUC Officer, London, Mainstream.

Griffiths, J. (2003): Hostage, London, Andre Deutsch.

Gunaratna, R. (2003): Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, London, Hurst & Company, 2nd edn.

Gurney, P. (1993): Braver Men Walk Away: Memoirs of the worlds Top Bomb Disposal Expert, London, Harper Collins.

Hamill, D. (1985): Pig in the Middle: The Army in Northern Ireland 1969 – 1984, London, Methuen.

Harclerode, P. (2001): Fighting Dirty: The inside storey of covert operations from Ho Chi Minh to Osama bin Laden, London, Cassell & Co.

Harnden, T. (1999): Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh, London, Hoddeer & Stoughton.

Hezlet, A. (1972): The “B” Specials: A History of the Ulster Special Constabulary, Belfast, The Mourne River Press.

Holland, J (1999): Hope Against History: The Ulster Conflict, London, Hodder & Stoughton.

Holland, J. and Phoenix, S. (1996): Phoenix: Policing the Shadows, London, Hodder & Stoughton.

Hutchinson, R. (2003): Weapons of Mass Destruction: the no-nonsense guide to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons today, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Ingram, M. and Harkin, G. (2004): Stakeknife: Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland, Dublin, O’Brian Press.

John, S. and Thomson, S. (2003): New Activism and the Corporate Response, Basisingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.

Katz, S. (1995): The Illustrated Guide to the World’s Top Counter Terrorist Forces, Hong Kong, Concord.

Kennedy-Pipe, C. (1997): The Origins of the Present Troubles in Northern Ireland, London, Longman.

Kushner, H. (2003): Encyclopaedia of Terrorism, London, Sage Publications.

Lewis, R. (1999): Fishers of Men, London, Hodder & Stoughton.

Litton, H. (1995): The Irish Civil War: An Illustrated History, Dublin, Wolfhound Press.

Mc Creary, A. (1976): Survivors, Belfast, Century Books.

Mc Gartland, M. (1997): Fifty Dead Men Walking: The Heroic True Store of a British Secret Agent inside the IRA, London, Blake.

Mc Gartland, M. (1998): Dead Man Running: The True Story of a Secret Agent’s Escape from the IRA and MI5, London, Mainstream.

Mc Kittrick, D. et al (1999): Lost Lives: The stories of the men, women and children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland troubles, London, Mainstream.

Mc Philemy, S. (1998): The Committee: Political Assassination in Northern Ireland, Niwot, Roberts Rinehart.

Mackey, C. (2004): The Interrogator’s War: inside the Secret War against Al Qaeda, London, John Murray.

Medhurst, P. (2002): Global Terrorism, Geneva, United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Mitchel, G. (1999): Making Peace: The Inside Story of the making of the Good Friday Agreement, London, William Heinemann.

Mullan, D. (1997): Bloody Sunday: Massacre in Northern Ireland, The Eye Witness Accounts, Boulder, Roberts Rinehart.

Murray, R. (1990): The SAS in Ireland, Dublin, Mercier Press.

Moloney, E. (2002): A Secret History of the IRA, London, Penguin.

Mooney, J and O’Toole, M. (2003): Black Operations: The Secret War Against the Real IRA, Ashbourne, Maverick House.

Moore, R. (2003): The Hunt for Bin Laden: Task Force Dagger, New York, Random House.

Netanyahu, B. (1995): Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies can defeat Domestic and International Terrorism, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux.

O’Brien, B. (1997): A Pocket History of the IRA, Dublin, O’Brien Press.

O’Brien, B. (1993): The Long War: The IRA and Sinn Fein 1985 to Today, Dublin, O’Bien Press.

O’Callaghan, S. (1998): The Informer, London, Bantam Press.

O’Mahoney, B. (2000): Soldier of the Queen, Dingle, Brandon.

Paisley, I. et all (1982): Ulster; the Facts, Belfast, Crown Publications.

Parker, J. (1999): Death of a Hero: Captain Robert Nairac, GC and the undercover war in Northern Ireland, London, Metro.

Patrick, D. (1981): Fetch Felix: The Fight Against the Ulster Bombers 1976-77, London, Hamish Hamilton.

Peters, R. (2002): Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World, Mechanicsburg, Stackpole.

Peters, R. (1999): Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph, Mechanicsburg, Stackpole.

Poirteir, C. (Ed) (1995): The Great Irish Famine, Dublin, Mercier Press.

Potter, J. (2001): A Testimony to Courage: The Regimental History of The Ulster Defence Regiment, Barnsley, Pen & Sword.

Reeve, S. (1999): The New Jackels: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism, London, Andre Deutsch.

Rennie, J. (1986): The Operators: On the Streets with 14 Company, The Army’s Top Secret Elite, London, Century.

Ripley, T and Chappell, M. ((1993): Elite Series 44: Security Forces in Northern Ireland 1969 – 92, London, Osprey Military.

Robinson, P. (Unknown): Savagery and Suffering: A Glimpse at the Butchery and Brutality of the IRA, Belfast, Democratic Unionist Party.

Rowan, B. (2003): The Armed Peace: Life and Death after the Ceasefire, London, Mainstream.

Ryder, C. (1989): The RUC: A Force under Fire, London, Methuen.

Ryder, C. (1992): The RUC: A Force under Fire, London, Mandarin, 2nd edn.

Smith, M. (1995): Fighting for Ireland: The Military Strategy of the Irish Republican Movement, London, Routledge.

Taylor, M and Quayle, E. (1994): Terrorist Lives, London, Brassey's.

Taylor, P. (1993): States of Terror: Democracy and Political Violence, London, BBC Books.

Taylor, P. (1999): Loyalists, London, Bloomsbury.

Taylor, P. (1997): Provos: The IRA and Sinn Fein, London Bloomsbury.

Taylor, P. (2001): Brits: The War Against the IRA, London, Bloomsbury.

Thompson, L. (1994): Ragged War: The Storey of Unconventional and Counter-Revolutionary Warfare, London, Arms & Armour.

Urban, M. (1992): Big Boys' Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle against the IRA, London, Faber & Faber.

Wood, I. (2003): God, Guns and Ulster: A History of Loyalist Paramilitaries, London, Caxton Editions.
Inf/MP said:
Here is a list of the books currently occupying much of a book case that are specifically related to Northern Ireland and terrorism in general
Aha - a fellow historian.
I'm curently reading a very good book by a Ex-RUC Detective Sgt Johnston Brown called "Into the dark".
It has at it's heart the treachery that Special Branch & the lengths that they would go to to discredit & even arrange the murder of not just respectable Police officers but cover up murders like Pat Finucane.
Here's a extract taken from the Sunday Life serialisation.

Into The Dark: Tommy, the Catholic UVF man!

30 October 2005
Today Johnston Brown reveals the extraordinary story of the ex-IRA man who joined the UVF and became a CID informer, and how he:

• became the best friend of a UVF serial killer who is in the pay of Special Branch...

• ran with the notorious Mount Vernon UVF team that is riddled with informers...

• had Special Branch Officers put his life at risk by exposing him as a CID agent...

• and finally fled fearing a set-up, after he was ordered to bomb Sinn Fein offices in the Republic...

'TOMMY' feared no man.

He was a formidable figure, heavily-built but with a warm and affable personality.

A Catholic, he was a member of the junior IRA who was, years later, sworn into the UVF in a flat in the Rathcoole estate.

He was able to swan into UVF clubs anywhere - even the terror group's Shankill Road HQ - in the company of a serial killer who was in the pay of Special Branch.

I first met him in 1985 while I was investigating the IRA murder of a member of the security forces, who was shot in the back at his home in the loyalist Tigers Bay area of Belfast.

Tommy was a friend of the young man's family, and the cowardly murder had sickened him.

At that time he lived in a nationalist area and was very knowledgeable about local PIRA members.

He agreed to help us bring the killers to justice, but he was cautious. He would speak in riddles, saying a lot but telling us very little.

Tommy remained in touch with us for years and soon got over his fear of working with the RUC.

He had been a member of the Fianna (junior IRA) but escaped the grip of the Provos when he moved to England for a few years.

He did not renew his association with the IRA when he returned.

Tommy, who had a criminal record, moved freely among both communities, having family ties in nationalist areas and friends from loyalist areas.

But when he first came forward to help us, he was actually under a death threat from the PIRA for reasons he did not want to reveal. On a one-to-one basis, no Provo would dare to tackle him without a gun in his hand.

In 1991, Tommy began to develop a close friendship with a local senior UVF man - 'X', from the loyalist Mount Vernon estate. It's a measure of Tommy's personality that he was able to get so close to 'X'. What he did not know was that my CID partner, Trevor McIlwrath, had recruited 'X' some years earlier.

But now that 'X' was actively involved in terrorist crimes, he had been passed over to Special Branch.

Trevor had remained with 'X' as a joint CID handler, and kept me fully briefed.

Other CID sources in 'X"s UVF group were reporting he was becoming vicious and uncontrollable.

This was a sad, because initially he had co-operated fully with us and had frustrated UVF operations always to save life.

Trevor and I had long resolved to arrest 'X', but the only obstacle was the absolute carte blanche he had been afforded by his Special Branch handlers.

Special Branch took the view that he was far too valuable to them at that time to consider removing him from the picture, even though we argued there were other informants in the same group.

We watched with fascination as the strange relationship between Tommy and 'X' blossomed.

'X' trusted Tommy implicitly, and Tommy reported back to us.

Tommy moved to a new home just outside Belfast. Both he and 'X' had common-law wives. They also had other girlfriends - they played hard.

As long as Tommy was in 'X"s company, he was made welcome in UVF haunts anywhere.

He even frequented the UVF headquarters on the Shankill Road in Belfast.

But, the truth was, Tommy was walking on eggshells. I knew it would only be a matter of time before his new-found UVF friends would turn on him, and we warned him of this possibility time and again.

Treacherous Branch man exposes Tommy as tout

TOMMY saved an innocent young Catholic man from UVF killers - but in return he had own life jeopardised by an unscrupulous Special Branch man.

The treacherous Branch man exposed Tommy as an informer to protect one of his own agents - a UVF killer - from arrest.

It was in 1995 that Tommy revealed he had been asked to supply a car for a UVF sectarian murder.

The target was a young Catholic man who regularly walked his Protestant girlfriend home to a loyalist area just off the Antrim Road.

Tommy could not find out the identity of the intended victim.

He had merely been tasked by 'Y', a senior UVF man, to supply a roadworthy car to the murder gang.

What he didn't know was that 'Y' was a Special Branch informer, just like his best friend 'X'.

Worse, 'Y"s handler was a particularly unpleasant Special Branch officer, Alec (not his real name).

Tommy said 'Y' was keen to carry out the murder personally to elevate himself in the eyes of his Shankill Road bosses, while 'X' was on holiday abroad.

Tommy volunteered to give us the car first so that we could plant a tracker device and intercept the killers.

My CID partner and I had carried out similar operations before, with full Special Branch co-operation.

But this time we would be asking the Branch to move against 'Y', one of their own agents, and I just did not trust Alec.

I asked another Special Branch officer I trusted, who was based at Tennent Street, to handle the car bugging operation and I did not reveal 'Y's involvement.

Tommy supplied the car to Special Branch and it was quickly returned to him kitted out with a tracker device.

But, a few days later, an anxious Tommy called me saying the UVF had not collected the car.

UVF men, who daily visited his home, had suddenly stopped calling.

He feared they knew about the bug in the car.

"How did the UVF find out?" he asked.

I tried to pacify him saying there was no way they knew.

Tommy was not easily rattled but he was panicking. I advised him to brazen it out with his UVF associates. He was terrified - but he agreed.

As it happened, he was due to attend a UVF meeting at a commander's home in Shore Crescent within the next day or so.

After that meeting, a terrified Tommy called me again. It had not gone well.

There had been an overnight arson attack on a bar on the outskirts of Glengormley, a well-known UVF haunt in those days.

CID's Serious Crime Squad had an on-going operation in the bar, which they believed would result in the arrests of sinister UVF men who were extorting money from the owner.

RUC covert cameras had been installed to capture the blackmailers, who included Branch agents 'X' and 'Y'.

An ashen-faced Tommy arrived at my home later as arranged. He said when he walked into the UVF leader's house, some of his former cronies had pinched their noses with their fingers.

"F***, do you smell that?" one had said.

"Are your mates Jonty and Trevor out there, Tommy?" they asked.

Tommy said he was met by a barrage of profanities when he tried to bluff it out.

The UVF commander 'Y' had later called at his house, ordered him into his car and drove him to the burnt-out Glengormley bar.

"Look at it! What you see is what we do to people who f*** us about, Tommy," said 'Y'.

He told Tommy the UVF had been tipped off about the concealed cameras.

"We know all about the bug in the car, too. We don't want the f****** car. We know you are working for Jonty Brown and Trevor McIlwrath.

"You have been f****** us about, Tommy. This is what happens to people who f*** us about.

"Do you want a fire at your house with a wee baby there? Do you?" barked 'Y'. Tommy's gut reaction was to reach over and pull the head off 'Y'. God knows, he was capable of it.

But he kept his cool and denied contacts with Trevor and myself.

As I listened to him, I became incensed. Who was tipping off the UVF?

Despite friction between myself and some unscrupulous Special Branch officers, even I did not think that they would do such a thing.

My partner and I decided that 'X', the UVF man from Mount Vernon, might have the answers.

'X' was now taking life after life, but he was a "protected species" as a Branch informer.

It would have been easier to put him in jail than it was to put Johnny Adair away. Yet, no-one was interested.

My partner and I were normally not allowed to meet or speak to him. But on this occasion we received clearance from a senior CID officer

We drove 'X' to countryside near Templepatrick where he revealed Special Branch man Alec's treachery.

He said 'Y' claimed to have a relative or friend who was an RUC reservist at a Co Antrim police station.

'Y' had told Shankill Road UVF leaders how the reservist overheard Special Branch men talking in the staff canteen about a tout called Tommy, who let them bug a car that was to used in a UVF murder.

'X' said few people really believed 'Y"s reservist story, adding the UVF suspected he was a tout.

'X' also revealed that Alec and his other Special Branch handlers had tipped him off about the CID cameras at the Glengormley bar.

And he said it was very likely that the Branch man had also warned 'Y' about both the cameras and bugged car, as he had told him 'Y' worked for Special Branch.

As I sat in that police car, I became more and more outraged. I asked about Tommy.

'X' told me that Tommy was doing a good job on the denials, but, since he was a "Fenian", it was likely that the UVF would err on the side of caution and kill him.

We appealed to him to do all he could to save Tommy.

He agreed, but added nonchalantly: "What if I can't, Jonty? What if Tommy gets whacked?"

I lost it. I said if anything happened to Tommy, I would put in enough "mix" to see he met the same fate. I had no intention of doing any such thing, but my threat had the desired effect.

Trevor and I dropped him off and headed back to Castlereagh barracks. I was furious. We now knew that Tommy's life had been put at risk and two police operations deliberately compromised to protect Alec's Branch agent 'Y'.

Was Tommy's life so worthless? Who did these people think they were?

How the UVF was riddled with touts

IT was through Tommy I discovered a Special Branch agent was pushing to have me murdered by the UVF.

"Use a rat to kill a rat" was a tactic used by some Branch officers - use a terrorist to kill a terrorist.

Now I feared that an idiot Branch officer called 'Alec' (not his real name) was using the same dirty trick against me.

Tommy had previously brazened out suspicions he was a CID tout.

Every fifth person in the UVF is an informer and I knew they were reluctant to have an inquiry.

Tommy was now telling me how 'Z', another Mount Vernon UVF man, was raising suspicions about him again.

'Z' was also telling everyone my address, pushing to have me "done".

He didn't know that 'Z' worked for Special Branch. His handler was my "old friend".

He handled some of the most vicious terrorists and had often threatened to turn them on me.

On Wednesday, 2 April, 1997 Tommy called saying he was in danger of being shot by the UVF and wanted to "come in". He told of a proposed UVF bomb attack on a Sinn Fein office in Monaghan.

The UVF had told him to hire a car to plant the bomb, and he'd already taken part in a dummy run, and collected Powergel explosives.

Fearing a set-up, he said: "Can you imagine what it would be like for me, a Fenian in Portlaoise jail, on remand for a UVF bomb on Sinn Fein office?"

When he got cold feet and pulled out of the mission, the UVF turned on him. Tommy wanted to "come in". But in order to convince my bosses that he was worth a good resettlement package, he agreed to supply information that would lead to a massive haul of UVF weapons.

'X' had made him quartermaster in charge of some of the Mount Vernon UVF's best "gear", including a large quantity of Powergel and a new VZ58 assault rifle.

As a result, CID planned a series of raids, codenamed 'Operation Mechanic'.

But when Special Branch were briefed, they claimed our source could not produce the Powergel or the rifle, unaware Tommy had already handed them over!

It would have been laughable, if had not been so serious.

We were told the raids could go ahead, but Special Branch, for reasons best known to themselves, had vetoed the more important ones, including a virtual arsenal in the Shore Road area and other dumps in north and west Belfast.

Special Branch also put a 24-hour block on Operation Mechanic. Clearly they were having difficulty contacting some of their informants. The 'force within a force' were warning UVF murderers we were coming after them.

When Operation Mechanic finally went ahead I watched as officers returned from house after house empty-handed.

My partner Trevor and I became the butt of jokes from other inept officers, who loved to see us fail.

Thank God we had isolated the two big items - without the Powergel and the VZ58 assault rifle, the operation would have been a complete disaster.

The UVF Mount Vernon terrorists had been given time to move their weapons.

This bunch of murderous thugs continued to kill long after the loyalist ceasefires and we knew they were planning bombings in the Republic.

If I had been given a free rein and a few detectives, I could have put the entire unit of business.

Why were we being obstructed by Special Branch? What was the alleged "bigger picture"? I really would have liked to have known.

Extracted from Into The Dark: 30 years in the RUC, published by Gill and Macmillan on November 1, priced £16.99

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