News you may have missed #433

  • White House quiet on Pollard release speculation. The Barack Obama administration is staying silent on a reported offer from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend a settlements freeze in the occupied areas, in exchange for the release of Jonathan Pollard, currently held in a US prison for spying on America for Israel.
  • ‘The Secret History of MI6’ published. An authorized history of the first forty years of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, has been published by Bloomsbury. The book is written by Professor Keith Jeffery, of Queen’s University, Belfast, based on his unrestricted access to SIS archives of the period.
  • Pakistan accuses Briton of spying. Authorities in Pakistan are holding a 70-year-old Briton on suspicion of spying for almost a month in the country’s lawless tribal areas. Nicholas Bain, who claims he is an author researching a book, is suspected of “working for a British intelligence agency”, according to a Pakistani official.

Protestant alleges links between N. Ireland loyalists and British state

Raymond McCord

Ray McCord, Sr.

On November 9, 1997, Royal Air Force officer Raymond McCord Jr. was beaten to death in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by members of the Mount Vernon branch of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). McCord’s beating was one of many instances in which Northern Ireland’s most violent loyalist gang targeted members of its own Protestant community. The difference in McCord’s case was that his father, Raymond McCord Sr., decided to come forward and speak out about the decades-old collusion between Northern Irish loyalist paramilitaries and Britain’s security services. Despite repeated death threats and intimidation, McCord’s campaign prompted an official investigation into the matter by Northern Ireland’s police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan. Her 2007 report confirmed that the leader of the Mount Vernon UVF, Mark Haddock, had been repeatedly protected by police authorities, despite being routinely implicated in extortion, blackmail, drug dealing and arson, as well as in dozens of paramilitary-style attacks that resulted in 16 murders and 10 attempted murders. Read more of this post

Suspected IRA militant charged in undercover agent’s killing

Robert Nairac

Robert Nairac

A man suspected by British authorities to be a former member of the Irish Republican Army has been charged with participating in the killing of a British army undercover agent, who tried to infiltrate the IRA in the 1970s. Robert Nairac, a captain of the British Army’s Intelligence Corps, was among numerous British government agents who attempted to infiltrate the IRA from the 1960s onwards. Although educated at Oxford, Nairac studied Irish republican culture and put on a convincing Northern Irish accent in order to carry out the infiltration. His activities centered on patronizing various pubs in Catholic stronghold areas of Belfast, using the cover name “Danny McErlaine”, and pretending to be a member of the Official IRA (an IRA splinter faction) from north Belfast. But on May 14, 1977, a group of IRA members abducted Nairac from a pub in South Armagh and drove him to a remote location, where they interrogated him prior to executing him. Read more of this post

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