14 March 2004. Thanks to A.
Cryptome: Bear in mind that nothing on the interview tape cited in this article, hosted by Cryptome, connects "Jack" -- allegedly Freddie Scappaticci -- to the FRU or MoD. As Greg Harkin writes here, at worst the tape shows that Jack has a big mouth.
However, big mouths of seemingly disgruntled persons, are often used to spread disinformation to gullible media and to intelligence officers, a common practice shared by the IRA , MoD and intelligence agencies worldwide. These calculated deception operations go on for years, as have the Stakeknife revelations.
There is a view that the exposure of "Stakeknife" is an MoD-orchestration to disrupt the IRA and the peace initiative, and to divert attention from the full scope of past perfidy as well as current covert operations.
This would conform to the common covert-operations practice to order undercover agents, military and intelligence officers to go public with tales of mistreatment, moral outrage and selected information about secret operations. Several incidents related to the Stakeknife operation show the marks of sophisticated intelligence deception --whether by MoD, the IRA, the media, or a mutually beneficial joint effort.
As someone recently wrote: "The Stakeknife affair is far from over." If Scappaticci is killed by the operation -- to hide a deeper deception operation -- it would be a success for its planners, as with previous successes of turning operatives against one another, including their assassination. Where will the chickens come home to roost and how high up the chain of command?
Hugh Kernohan, how about a press conference with Freddie and his handlers, not hidden, not carefully leaked.
The People (UK), March 14, 2004
By Greg Harkin
Stakeknife -- Freddie Scappaticci -- was staying at his favourite Italian hotel yesterday after fleeing west Belfast amid threats from former IRA comrades. The final straw for the agent who bumped off IRA members while earning up to £80,000-a-year as a tout for the British Army came in a series of articles in The People and the publication of a book about his secret double life.
A senior security source revealed yesterday: "Mr Scappaticci was warned ten days ago that his life was in imminent danger from republicans.
"He was told to take precautions and advised that he should move from his home in west Belfast.
"He has now done that."
Last month The People revealed the Italian bolthole where Stakeknife planned to retire with the fortune he earned as a tout.
Incredibly, on Friday night, Freddie Scappaticci was back in the hotel he fled to when he was first exposed as an agent for the Force Research Unit in this paper last May. A receptionist at Hotel La Pace - talking to an Italian-speaking People reporter - confirmed: "Si, Freddie Scappaticci e qui. (Yes, Mr Freddie Scappaticci is here)." She then put us through to his room, but there was no answer. The receptionist added: "Sei un amico? Si ti chiama pui tarde poi parlare adesso ma deve chiamare un altro linea. (Are you a friend? If you call back later on a different number, you can talk to him then.)" There was no answer from room 653 last night. A new receptionist insisted Scap had checked out early yesterday.
Scappaticci, number two in the IRA's internal security unit for 20 years, could be heard on an internet tape recording two weeks ago naming alleged senior members of the IRA to journalists from the Cook Report in August 1993.
More damning claims from the man involved in the culling of up to 35 IRA members - some informers and some not - were the final straw for republicans.
On one of the tapes - first revealed in The People last July - Scap could also be heard describing IRA interrogation methods. He says: "See, when they have anyone the standard procedure is to strip them and de-bug them, right? Just to see if they are wired up or whatever.
"Then they usually put a boiler suit on them. They put them in chair facing the wall, right, and go from there.
"See, when people say now they [the IRA] use a lot of violence, they don't really. Physical violence they don't use now. They use mental violence obviously, you know.
"It's a psychological thing. They get you into a room. They blindfold you, strip you. They have you sitting there, right.
"Maybe the room's cold. They make you all sorts of promises, and everybody being what they are has a breaking point you know. And they think there are going to go home...but they don't!"
There is growing concern within the IRA at Scappaticci's role as an informer, particularly in how he helped the FRU and Special Branch set up the arrest in 1990 of Sinn Féin publicity director Danny Morrison. The IRA later helped to provide an alibi for Scap. That move is now being investigated.
Ironically on the same 1993 tapes, Scappaticci slags off Morrison, calling him a 'pen pusher'.
"He was Director of Publicity. But he was also on the IRA Army Council, but he had no balls and that's basically it. He was a pen pusher, if you want to put it that way," Scappaticci can he heard saying on the tape.
A voice analysis between his exclusive interview for BBC Newsline last May and the recordings made in the car park of the Culloden Hotel in 1993 show beyond all doubt that the recordings are authentic.
Last night a senior republican source in west Belfast confirmed the IRA was now preparing to go public on Scappaticci.
"Firstly there are the very serious allegations made about Scap in Stakeknife: Britain's Secret Agents in Ireland.
"The transcripts of the Cook Report tapes make for devastating reading in the book and their subsequent release on an internet website has confirmed, at the very least, that Scap had a big mouth and was prepared to shaft people who saw him as a comrade.
"He would be a very foolish man to return to Belfast from Italy now," said the source. There has been speculation in some republican circles that IRA members have openly boasted that they will defy the Provo ceasefire to attack Scappaticci, though the PIRA leadership has refused to sanction any attack.
The flight of Stakeknife comes just 12 days after a High Court action by him was adjourned in unusual circumstances.
Scap was due to appeal against the dismissal of his judicial review last August when he lost a bid to force Security Minister Jane Kennedy to confirm he was not the agent alleged to have supplied the Army with high grade intelligence. Mr Scappaticci's lawyer, Michael Lavery QC, told Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr that he was applying for an adjournment and the judge indicated that the court had received a letter giving the reason for the application. Declan Morgan QC, for the Minister, said he, too, had seen the letter and was not objecting to the case being adjourned.
The reason for the adjournment was not revealed and, when Mr Scappaticci's lawyer was asked about it outside the court, he declined to comment. The Lord Chief Justice said it would be put in for mention again on April 23.