posted on Feb, 1 2003 @ 04:26 AM
Over the past three years, more information has emerged about the vast intelligence and military apparatus known as the FRU. Its chain of command
reaches up to the highest echelons of the British state within the armed forces and intelligence gathering bodies. During the past three weeks, the
Guardian newspaper has run several articles on the Force Research Unit (FRU), an undercover security operation financed and run by the British state
in Northern Ireland for more than two decades.
The articles detail how this terror networkˇinvolving up to 100 soldiers and double agentsˇ organised a series of covert intelligence and military
operations and authorised their agents to carry out numerous illegal activities including bomb making, murder, and the shooting of Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) officers.
Through interviews with alleged former members of the FRU, the Guardian reports that the FRU was in active operation until the British and Irish
governments signed the Northern Ireland Agreement three years ago. Afterwards ex-FRU members complain they were discarded by the British secret
services and left without any protection.
ýThe FRU was one of three army-sponsored undercover intelligence squads in Northern Ireland. The others were 22 Squadron SAS, and 14 Company. The
FRU, which was set up in Northern Ireland in 1980, dealt with recruiting and handling agents in paramilitary organisations.
ý14 Company specialised in surveillance while 22 SAS undertook 'executive actions'. 'That means they killed people,' said an army source.
The article continues, ýanother former soldier involved in the campaign told the Guardian that he and the other agents were recruited from the 1st and
2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers and the Queens Royal Irish Hussars, between 1979 and 1984...
ýThe soldiers, then aged 18 and 19, were approached individually at an early stage in their careersˇone after just a few weeks serviceˇby members of
the army's intelligence corps. Although they were never told who they were working for, it is believed they were recruited and handled by the
army's Force Research Unit.