UK to probe role of high-ranking IRA informant in 24 murder cases

Provisional IRAAuthorities in Northern Ireland have launched an official investigation into the alleged involvement of a British government informant in dozens of murders perpetrated by Irish republican militants. The informant, codenamed STAKEKNIFE in British government documents, has been identified by some as Freddie Scappaticci, the grandson of an Italian immigrant to Northern Ireland, who in the early 1970s joined the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). Eventually, Scappaticci was put in charge of the Provisional IRA Northern Command’s Internal Security Unit. The unit was tasked with counterintelligence operations, which involved detecting, capturing and eliminating suspected British government spies inside the IRA.

Unbeknownst to the IRA, however, Scappaticci was himself an informant for the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s Special Branch. He is believed to have been paid up to £80,000 a year to provide information to the British government about the IRA’s activities. STAKEKNIFE’s reputed work for the British government was first publicized in 2003 by another British government informant in the IRA, Kevin Fulton. But Scappaticci, who is known in republican circles as ‘Scap’, denies he was STAKEKNIFE, and the claims about him and his activities have been surrounded by an air of mystery.

Last year, however, families of those killed by the IRA’s Internal Security Unit took advantage of Fulton’s claims. They argued that, if STAKEKNIFE was indeed a British government informant, and if he was personally involved in the murder of alleged IRA informants, then the British authorities technically allowed him to get away with murder in order to protect his secret identity. The government, therefore, technically colluded in the murders and should be held responsible.

The Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland investigated these claims and communicated his findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The latter recently described the STAKEKNIFE investigation as “perhaps the most significant case” in his time as DPP. He has now ordered the Police Service of Northern Ireland to launch a formal inquiry into the matter and to start inviting witness testimonies. It is reputed that Northern Ireland First Minister, Martin McGuinness, who is said to have been close to Scappaticci during his tenure in the IRA, will be among the first witnesses called on to testify as part of the investigation.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 22 October 2015 | Permalink

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3 Responses to UK to probe role of high-ranking IRA informant in 24 murder cases

  1. Pingback: UK to probe role of high-ranking IRA informant in 24 murder cases | Brittius

  2. tfh says:

    If the UK might be tempted to use similar tactics in current and future conflicts they should first take a look at the fallout of their Irish campaign. This is what would await in future, probably in even stronger form.

  3. eireannach007 says:

    This was a dirty war fought by a defunct imperial power to retain part of the territory of a sovereign nation, who fought and outwitted the Saxon huns almost 100 years ago. People should read Joe Tierney’s book on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1972 to have the eyes opened. English soldiers made the bombs planted by Loyalist terrorists in Dublin (not UK), which blasted innocent women and babies to pieces. One should not be surprised that the nation which invented the concentration camp and heartlessly oversaw the deaths of thousands of innocent Boer women and children in Sudafrika should care so little and act with such barbaric cruelty in our own generation. This is the same race which firebombed Dresden to incinerate hundreds of thousand of refugees fleeing Communism, simply to please the monster Stalin. The English have always been a bellicose and aggressive imperial power and a danger to Europe for centuries. They have treated the Irish as subhuman for 700 years in spite of the fact that the Irish were civilised and cultured for centuries before they discovered the power of the sword. The Irish prefer the power of the pen. Our downfall, like that of Scotland, has always been the unprincipled hireling and traitor who would sell his homeland for 30 pieces of silver.

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