Post-Cold War


British Army Informer in IRA

Materials presented chronologically.

Casciani, Dominic. "Stakeknife: Uncovering the Hidden War." BBC News Online, 12 May 2003. [http://news.bbc.co.uk]

"The unmasking of a top-level mole in the IRA - named as Freddie Scappaticci - has peeled back another layer of Northern Ireland's secret war....

"Since 1989 there have been three huge inquiries, all led by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, into how the security services recruited and ran paramilitary agents in Northern Ireland. His latest and most damning report concluded there had been collusion between elements of military intelligence, members of the police and loyalist paramilitaries in the murder of [Belfast solicitor Pat] Finucane and another man, Adam Lambert." See also, BBC, "Papers Ponder IRA Spy's Future," 12 May 2003.

Evans, Michael. "IRA Mole: Life of Fear Awaits Unmasked Agent Seeking Fresh Identity." Times (London), 12 May 2003. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

"Running agents in Northern Ireland has always been a high-risk operation.... However, the skill and professionalism of the agent-runners and the courage of those under their control inside the terrorist organisations have helped to develop an extraordinary network of moles. Stakeknife was one of the most prized agents but he was not unique. Others agents have survived unmasked for years. He was the prime agent for the Army's Force Research Unit (FRU) and his identity was known to only a handful of people."

Lister, David. "Britain's Top Spy Inside IRA Goes into Hiding." Times (London), 12 May 2003. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

"Britain's most important agent inside the IRA was in hiding last night after his identity and details of his 25-year career as a ruthless executioner was exposed by newspapers in Dublin and Belfast. The agent known as Stakeknife, whose intelligence was so significant that it was processed by a dedicated team and read at Cabinet level, was named [on 11 May 2003] as Alfredo 'Freddie' Scappaticci. Security officials said that he was in a secret safe house....

"The bricklayer son of an Italian immigrant who joined the Provisionals in the early 1970s, Mr Scappaticci rose through the IRA's ranks to become a trusted friend of Gerry Adams and deputy head of the infamous 'Nutting Squad', which tortured and killed suspected informers."

Lister, David, and Ian Cobain. "IRA Mole: The Killer Who Became Britain's Finest Weapon." Times (London), 12 May 2003. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

"When Alfredo 'Freddie' Scappaticci wandered up to an Army base outside Belfast in 1978 and asked to speak to somebody important there was little to mark him out as the man who would become Britain's most important weapon against the IRA." See also, Anthony McIntyre, "How Stakeknife Paved Way to Defeat for IRA," Times (London), 12 May 2003.

McKittrick, David. "Further Revelations of British Army's 'Dirty War' as Mole in the IRA's Killing Squad Is Exposed." The Independent (UK), 12 May 2003. [http://news.independent.co.uk]

"Society has always accepted that the security forces should attempt to penetrate groups such as the IRA through the use of informers, who are viewed as a distasteful but essential element of the fight against terrorism. Their existence poses the question, however, of how deeply they may become involved in illegality. Some law-breaking is inevitable, since joining the IRA is an offence. In the case of Stakeknife, however, the agent appears to have been much more deeply involved, taking part in a series of murders."

McKittrick, David. "IRA Double Agent 'Stakeknife' Forced to Flee Ireland as Cover Is Blown." The Independent (UK), 12 May 2003. [http://news.independent.co.uk]

"The west Belfast republican named as Stakeknife, who comes from a large family with a strong republican background, was last night understood to have left Northern Ireland. One report said he may have been taken to a British military intelligence base in Dorset."

Economist. Editors. "Truth, Lies and Stakeknives." 17 May 2003, 49-50.

The allegations against Freddie Scappaticci "imply that the agent of one arm of the security forces -- the army -- was murdering agents of the other bits.... The details of Mr Scappaticci's career that were reported this week are heavy on colour but light on provenance.... The story most damaging to the security forces, if true, is that when loyalist paramilitaries targeted Mr Scappaticci as a top IRA man, army intelligence agents tricked them instead into going after somebody else with an Italian name."

Ingram, Martin, and Greg Harkin. Stakeknife: Britain's Secret Agents in Ireland. Dublin: O'Brien, 2004. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005. [pb]

From publisher: "This book presents the stories of two undercover agents: Brian Nelson, who worked for the Force Research Unit (FRU), aiding loyalist terrorists and murderers in their bloody work; and the man known as Stakeknife, deputy head of the IRA's infamous ... internal security force that tortured and killed suspected informers."

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