- By Ultana Ó Frighil
England’s highest ranking double agent within the IRA is under investigation for 24 murders
The British Army’s double agent, who was given the codename Stakeknife, has been named by the BBC as Fred Scappaticci from west Belfast. Scappaticci has denied he was an agent.
Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions wants the new investigation to look at what information, the army, MI 5 and the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s Special Branch, received from Stakeknife.
Barra McGrory QC said those who received information from Stakeknife will also be investigated.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland have yet to confirm who will conduct the investigation.
In a statement, Ass Ch Con Will Kerr said: “Police had received a referral from the director of public prosecutions which police were addressing. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”
The most high ranking British agent within the Provisional IRA, alleged by the BBC to be Mr. Scappaticci, the grandson of an Italian immigrant who came to Northern Ireland in search of work. Scappaticci has referred to himself in the past as a republican but denies the BBC’s allegations that he was an IRA informer.
Stakeknife acting as a double agent, he led the IRA’s internal security unit, known as ‘the nutting squad,’ which was responsible for identifying and interrogating suspected informers, whilst himself being an informer.
Mr Scappaticci left Northern Ireland when allegations regarding him being identified by the media as Stakeknife started to circulate, in 2003.
“I have been made aware of the scope and range of possible offences that may have been carried out by this individual and also members of intelligence agencies,” ~ Mr McGrory
“This information has been provided to me by the office of the Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, which is now concluding a painstaking review of all available material. A common link across a significant number of potential crimes, including murder, was the alleged involvement of an agent of military intelligence codenamed ‘Stakeknife’. Given that some of the allegations concern former members of RUC Special Branch, it is likely that Northern Ireland’s chief constable will ask an outside police force to conduct the investigation,” ~ McGrory continued to say at the press conference
Northern Ireland is not the first, largest scale or most recent nation where British forces have been accused of grievous and mass scale crimes, although this is likely to be the largest investigation into an agent’s actions.
Northern Ireland’s terminology varies considerably around the world depending on country, language, religious and political lean. Whilst officially Northern Ireland remains party of the UK as a separate entity from Scotland, Wales or England, around the world it is known as a Nation, province, region, republic and occupied territory.