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14 February 2004

Stakeknife: Britain’s Secret Agents in Ireland by Greg Harkin and Martin Ingram is published on February 18 by O’Brien Press, £8.99. [Available for order now.]

A. writes 13 February:

Martin Ingram is giving a radio interview on WBAI radio in New York @ 7pm U.K. time Saturday 14 Feb.

WBAI 99.5 FM, New York City

Sat., Feb. 14, 1:30-3:00 pm: Radio Free Eireann

Host: Sandy Boyer. Exclusive US interview with Martin Ingram, former British military intelligence officer who was banned from BBC and ITN. He describes how British intelligence infiltrated top ranks of the IRA and colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries to murder innocent civilians including Patrick Finucane, a leading Belfast human rights lawyer.

The Sunday Times (UK)

February 08, 2004

Government accused of burgling army agent

Liam Clarke

The government has been accused of carrying out a burglary and illegal phone-tapping operation against a military intelligence whistle-blower who spoke to The Sunday Times. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in Ireland, where the British security services have no powers to carry out surveillance.

The former soldier who has made the claims uses the pseudonym Martin Ingram. In a series of articles in the late 1990s, he exposed illicit activities by the Force Research Unit (FRU), a secret army group that controlled agents and informants inside the IRA and loyalist paramilitary organisations.

Ingram alleges that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) may have been implicated in a burglary in which the manuscript of a forthcoming book was stolen. The book, Stakeknife, which is to be published next week, tells the story of his long-running struggle with the ministry. Its title was the codename of the FRU’s top mole in the IRA.

Ingram also said that the British authorities may have been responsible for taps on his telephone line in Ireland, where he now lives. Ingram, from northern England, has been warned that he faces arrest if he returns to Britain.

He said this weekend: “I intend to return to see my family and friends, arrest or not.”

In his book, Ingram accuses Stakeknife, who he identifies as Freddie Scappaticci, a west Belfast republican, of involvement in several murders and of being head of the IRA’s internal security department responsible for rooting out informants.

Scappaticci, who denies any involvement with the security forces or being implicated in murders, last week failed in a court bid to halt the publication of the allegations. Scappaticci’s lawyers submitted a document from the police which warned that his life was in danger because republicans believed him to be Stakeknife.

Other papers appeared to concede that he was an agent, saying that it was a breach of the Official Secrets Act to reveal his identity. Despite the danger, Scappaticci continues to live in Belfast, although he is rumoured to have built a house in Italy, where his family originate, as an emergency bolthole.

Until now Ingram’s country of residence was a secret. He has chosen to reveal it this week in order to highlight instances of alleged illegal activity against him that breached Irish sovereignty.

On February 1, 2000, the draft of a memoir he was preparing was stolen from his home in the Irish republic and turned up two weeks later with the MoD which used it in a court case against him.

The second alleged breach involved the use of phone taps to obtain information.

The MoD denied Ingram’s allegations and told his lawyers previously that the papers were delivered to it anonymously.