MI5 in (Northern) Ireland

The Press Association has Prime Minister Tony Blair’s statement on national security, as noted yesterdaynot yet now online elsewhere Adds Statement on No 10 website Updated linkFrom the PA report

“There has been some concern over the arrangements set out in Annex E, which was published along with the St Andrews Agreement. The Government is therefore issuing a new statement in relation to national security.

“This will help bring Northern Ireland into line with a European approach which would provide a consistent and co-ordinated response to the threat from international terrorism which concerns us all.

“The threat presented by international terrorism to citizens was graphically illustrated by the train bombings in Madrid and on the streets of London in July 2005. The loss of life was horrific and completely unacceptable.

“The handling of national security intelligence throughout the European Union, including Northern Ireland, is designed to provide a consistent and co-ordinated response to the grave threat posed by international terrorist groups such as al Qaida.

“The PSNI and the Security Service will be completely distinct and entirely separate bodies.

“All necessary interaction between the Security Service and the PSNI, for example in response to the threat of international terrorism, will, as directed by the Chief Constable, by way of liaison. No police officers will be seconded to or under the control of the Security Service.

“The small number of police officers who act in a liaison capacity with the Security Service will be PSNI Headquarters staff acting in that role for fixed time-limited periods to the extent that the Chief Constable deems necessary for them to perform their duties.

“Policing is the responsibility solely of the PSNI. The Security Service will have no role whatsoever in civic policing.

“Leadership and direction of all police work is the responsibility of the Chief Constable who will remain accountable to the Policing Board.

“All PSNI officers will be employed by the PSNI and will be accountable solely to the Chief Constable and to the Policing Board and upon transfer to the Ministers for Justice.

“The Patten policing reforms will be maintained and there will be no diminution in police accountability.

“When the Policing Board establishes a special purposes committee under section 28 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003 the Government will make any necessary statutory provision to ensure it will be representative of all political parties on the Board.

“Future Justice Ministers will receive the same level of information as does the Board and the special purposes committee.

“The Ombudsman will have statutory powers to hold to account all police officers. The Ombudsman will also have statutory access to all information held by the police.

“The Ombudsman`s Office and the Security Service will agree arrangements for the Ombudsman`s access to sensitive information held by the Service, where necessary for the discharge of the Ombudsman`s statutory duties.

“Furthermore, I can confirm that the Government will invite Lord Carlile, and any successor, to review annually the operation of the arrangements for handling national security-related matters in Northern Ireland.

“In the course of his review, he will consult the Chief Constable, the Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman, as well as taking into account any views which the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister and, in due course, Justice Ministers may put to him.”

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  • Yokel

    Does this say anything new?

  • ingram

    The minister in Parliament live now on TV as just made the point that Dissident Republicans still pose a major threat to British interests in Northern Ireland.

    He asked that all parties who sign upto policing join together to defeat Dissident Republicans.

    Martin

  • It tells us that the UK’s Security Service remains responsible for er, security services issues throughout the UK. Another tremendous victory for Gerry’s handlers, er, I mean Sinn Fein.

  • parcifal

    martin,
    with respect when the statement says:
    No police officers will be seconded to or under the control of the Security Service.
    yesterday you were bellowing the opposite.
    care to clarify?

  • ingram

    Yokel.

    No change.

    Police = Civic policing.

    MI5= Intelligence duties.

    SOS Confirms triple lock in place.

    Live now.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • ingram

    Parcifal.

    yes will clarify once statement finished.

    SOS makes clear the IMC will monitor Sinn Fein`s progress and implementation of their co operation in the CRJ? very interesting.

    Ding Ding

  • eolas

    DUP is counted out of the game, this is a Brit Govt – SF deal. Just counting time for SF Ard Comhairle to call an Ard Fheis now all the ducks are lined up…

    From Sunday Business Post…

    “Somebody from outside the North’s assembly could be appointed to oversee policing and justice if the political deadlock on the issue is not resolved, Peter Hain said today.

    The Northern Ireland Secretary warned that the May 2008 deadline for devolution of powers to a Northern Ireland justice minister must be adhered to.

    He was speaking after addressing the Assembly’s Policing and Justice Committee in Belfast today.

    “This is a backstop, the overwhelming preference is to do this by consent under the agreed proceedings.

    “If we get to the stage where this process is deadlocked, perhaps around May 2008, then you have to look for an alternative legislative vehicle.”

    Mr Hain added that the appointee could be “somebody from a party outside the Executive or from outside the Assembly”.

    Democratic Unionists have said they will share power with Sinn Féin once they are sure of that party’s commitment to policing and law and order.

    Republicans had agreed to call an Ard fhéis by the end of January to endorse the policing structures but party president Gerry Adams has accused the DUP of failing in its own commitments to agree a timetable for devolution.

    Both parties have experienced dissent from members concerned about the shift in policies.

    Mr Hain said the March deadline for restoration of government was absolute.

    “People know that on January 30 Stormont either dissolves permanently or power is devolved, it is the last chance.

    “If there is wilful obstruction, some kind of deadlock almost despite the best intentions of the parties then we will have to look at another way through, but that is very much second best.”

    He added that the dates for power sharing and fresh Assembly elections in March and devolved policing powers by May 2008 were achievable but said there was no point in holding elections if there was no agreement on devolution.”

  • Yokel

    To be fair to Martin I think what he said was that secondment was totally different than people transferring to a new job within MI5. So no secondments, big deal. They’ll just find any skills and capacities they need in another way because that i assume is what secondments were really about, mundane needs for skills.

    Given fair numbers of branch people are now working for MI5 and the old boys club could well be intact.

    In short nothing has changed really.

    What this may be about is the republican theory about dark forces controlling everything. By stating that MI5 don’t control the police its stating the obvious of what already exists but for SF members it may feel like a re-assurance.

    Whilst these organizations worked together and so forth, equally there were rivalries between them and I’m sure they each defend their own patch with some ferocity. I can think of one senior republican who was shot, he was an SB informer but apparently the military intelligence people had wind of the attack and dint do a thing about it.

    Saying the two are separate organisations is stating the obvious but perhaps is designed for Gerry to take to members and say ‘the PSNI is not controlled by dark forces fo MI5’.

  • Yokel

    Eolas.

    Keep up…..

  • ingram

    Parcifal.

    Yes, exactly as I reported on a number of occassions on this board recently.

    The Officers have transfered and are now on the establishment of MI5.

    A secondment is a temporary measure.They are not seconded. To do so they would remain upon the establishment of the Police .The police would be required to fund them and they would be liable to the Ombudsman for their conduct. The last two years has seen a lot of Police taking EARLY retirement from the jobs. Many of these have sought new employment in the civil service(MI5).

    MI5 new all UK based role has meant a 100% increase in their man power. They have NOT sought to second but to RECRUIT.

    This process is now complete.They are now ready to rumble.

    In relation to Liason Officers L/O it is once more exactly as I reported yesterday upon how a L/O works and operates. These individuals ARE seconded to their role in “smoothing” the coming together of various agencies working together.

    Thanks to the PM for that collateral to my post of last night.

    The important Fact reinforced today in both the above PM statement and the SOS live in Parliament today is the role and activities of MI5.

    The SOS confirmed their role in combatting terrorism. That means they will be targetting their resources against ( and he mentioned them) dissident Irish Republicans.

    The SOS confirmed that Sinn Fein and their supporters will be expected to inform the police in respect to this activity.The IMC will monitor their comittement in this respect in the coming months and years(that is a direct quote).

    That is a very clear statement.

    Hope that helps Parcifal. In summary. NO CHANGE.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • ingram

    Yokel.

    yes agreed.

    I thought the DUP & Tory spokesman pushed the boat a touch too far.The SOS was clearly uncomfortable.

    That said we did get clarity! BUT at what price?

    Martin

  • Ian

    It is clear from the lack of ‘military’ successes by armed dissident republicanism over the last few years, that the primary objective of such dissidents is not to get the Brits to withdraw but to cause embarrassment to Sinn Fein because of their perceived abandonment of traditional Republican values.

    (As an example, check out the weekly articles by Anthony McIntyre in the Blanket emotively declaring that before long Sinn Fein will be assisting a ‘British constabulary’ in the ‘jailing and criminalising’ of ‘young Irish republicans’.)

    Now, recent resignees from Sinn Fein such as Laurence O’Neill and Davy Hyland presumably agree that the armed struggle is no longer viable, since they stayed with the Sinn Fein leadership throughout the decommissioning process. They are of course entitled to express their differences of opinion with SF on the policing issue but they should think carefully before aligning themselves too closely to those who would continue to exploit impressionable young republicans and consign them to several years incarceration PURELY for the purpose of embarrassing Sinn Fein.

    If anyone reading this intends to go to next week’s gathering of republicans in Derry, where no doubt the fierce policing debate will continue to rage, perhaps they could make the above point?

  • parcifal

    martin,
    Thanks, am only concerned if SF can use it to move things on, and judging by Kelly’s statement on the SF website it is enough.
    http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/17344
    Freely admit my knowlede is sparse on these matters.

  • ingram

    yokel,

    In relation to inter agency rivalry.

    It happens the world over mate.

    You will never stop it. If you take 9/11 CIA had Intelligence upon many of those involved in the flight schools. The FBI was not told of this information because of inter agency rivalry.

    One of the five principles of Intelligence is:

    Centralisation( One central control and command)

    If you read my book, you will see examples of Inter agency rivalry.

    In relation to the example you cite? are you refering to Ruby Davison?

    Ding Ding

    Ingram

    PS. I cannot wait for Patsy and Chris to “visit” should be interesting.

  • Ian

    Here’s a theoretical question:

    Suppose the various ‘disaffected’ republicans get their act together sufficiently to do well enough in the Assembly elections such that they’d be entitled to a Ministry under the d’Hont system?

    Then, assuming they show an intention to take up the ministry, but without declaring support for the police and the rule of law (naturally, as that’s the reason why they’ve recently split from SF) – presumably the Unionists wouldn’t agree to their taking up an Executive position – but would the SDLP and Sinn Fein continue to argue for a fully inclusive mandatory coalition, including the dissident minister who doesn’t support the police?

  • ingram

    Parcifal,

    No problem mate.If I can help in any way just ask.

    In relation to Sinn Fein statement.

    That statement was released during the SOS statement in Parliament. Clearly it was a prepared acceptance.

    That would suggest to me a clear indication that they are prepared to move forward on this basis. The DUP clearly are not going to move much.

    Sinn Fein I believe and understand are determined to go forward to the AF. Adams would not risk a AF if he did not KNOW he could carry the motion through.

    No matter what or HOW this situation as come about I for one welcome it.

    We just need the DUP to wind their knecks in now and it really is a “Neville Chamberlain” moment.

    Peace in our time.

    Well done to all.

    Martin

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘There has been some concern over the arrangements set out in Annex E, which was published along with the St Andrews Agreement. The Government is therefore issuing a new statement in relation to national security.’

    Annex E removed as I stated

    ‘The PSNI and the Security Service will be completely distinct and entirely separate bodies.’

    No role for MI5 in civic policing, as I stated.

    ‘No police officers will be seconded to or under the control of the Security Service.’

    Again, as I stated.

  • parcifal

    martin,
    agree with every word, even “knecks”, there’s something modern about that, and would suggest you send it to the Oxford Dictionary for approval to describe knackered people with out of date knackered views. 🙂

  • Aaron McDaid

    No doubt MI5 and so on will continue to interfere and play dirty in whatever takes their fancy. The point here is that if the PSNI liase with MI5, then that liaison will be fully accountable through the PSNI’s usual accountability methods (Ombudsman et cetera). So SF can pass their motion and still be implacably opposed to MI5’s role in Ireland – they just support entities which are locally accountable and transparent.

    And also, what’s a ‘dissident’? People can’t make up their mind whether it’s limited to anti-ceasefire people or not. If often sounds like unionists are saying it should be a crime to disagree with SF, which is an amazing about turn!

  • ingram

    Pat,

    No serious person on this board has argued MI5 is involved in CIVIC policing.

    MI5 have never been involved in speeding, rape nor Burglary.

    The SOS and PM have confirmed their role in protecting British National interest from terrorist. The SOS actually refered to the threat from dissident Republican terrorist.

    MI5 will be involved in policing Republicans engaged in terrorist activity. Now if Republicans or Sinn Fein members dont enage in terrorist activity then clearly they will not encounter MI5.

    Just as they would not yesterday.

    I have explained to you previously that SB officers working now for MI5 are NOT SECONDED but are established posts.

    The SDLP have just made a similar point.

    The bottom line Pat, is MI5 are monitoring and disrupting Republican/ potential terrorist activity. That includes Sinn Fein and the animal liberation front.

    The SDLP have just made the point that these activities WILL NOT BE OPEN TO ANY local scrutiny.The Ombudsman will not be able to investigate incidents like she would be able in the case of Loyalism.

    You are welcome to support this position, indeed I urge you to suport it.But please dont insult the people on this board BY painting this situation any differently than it clearly is.

    Martin

  • HG

    Pat Mc Larnon, like Gerry Adams on Talkback, sounds more like he is trying to convice himself than ayone else! Sinn Fein seems to be relying on words from the Prime Minister regarding the role of MI5 in the North instead of fixed mechanism that makes intelligence gathering subject to oversight and complaints.

    Gerry Adams is wrong to pretend that the MI5 issue is resolved; it clearly is not. It would appear that what he negotiated with the British actually in fact reduces MI5 accountability! Nice one Gerry – way to go! Where was your Chief Negociator that day, playing golf? Gerry has accepted that during a lawful search, the police can seize any document, regardless of their level of suspicion. This proposed power is way too excessive but seems great news to Gerry!

  • ingram

    Aaron Mcdaid.

    Your assessment is wrong.That would be a conditional agreement. That is not on offer.

    MI5 is part of the Criminal justice system.

    Support for the CJS includes the security services and the secret intelligence service.The IMC have been tasked to monitor Sinn Fein`s acceptance or otherwise.

    The role of a L/O is simple. They will not be privy to anything likely to be of use to an investigation.That is common sense that is why she cannot investigate MI5 nor the military today. No change.

    A PSNI L/O role in life is to organise a police presence( arrest) or A VAN etc.Ombudsman can investigate this procurement.Good luck to her.

    A military L/O will be responsible for the organisation of the military ( SAS, 14 Coy,Sigs Intelligence) The Ombudsman will NOT be able to investigate.

    I hope this helps you.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • Mick Fealty

    Aaron,

    “…that liaison will be fully accountable through the PSNI’s usual accountability methods.”

    Even on the most benign reading, this leaves MI5 huge scope for independent operation. The only body it is actually accountable to, is the Intelligence and security committee. Currently no one in Northern Ireland is entitled to sit on that body. And, since it is Westminster based, there is little prospect of anyone from Sinn Fein getting access to it through (possible) further negotiation.

    On a less benign reading, it looks like SF has ‘privatised’ the Branch.

  • Ian

    Aaron McDaid:

    “SF can pass their motion and still be implacably opposed to MI5’s role in Ireland – they just support entities which are locally accountable and transparent.”

    Which is a point I made earlier in the thread “Sinn Fein hoping Blair will undo MI5 proposals…” – will the DUP raise this as the next excuse to block progress? If Sinn Fein are fully supportive of a locally accountable police service but not of the nefarious machinations of MI5, will that constitute ‘failing to support the rule of law’ as MI5 is a component of the criminal justice system, even though MI5 themselves clearly disregard the Rule of Law when it suits them?

  • Mick Fealty

    Ian,

    I can answer your first question at least:

    “…will the DUP raise this as the next excuse to block progress?”

    This is not a deal breaker with them. Indeed, it may actually make it easier to quell any incipient rebellion in the ranks.

  • Ian

    A question: Have the SDLP ever (formally) signed up to full support for MI5? Or indeed any of the Unionist parties? How can such support (or lack thereof) be proven?

    This could be the next crucial issue after the Ard Fheis.

  • Yokel

    Just a thought but is someone trying to protect themselves from being caught up in an oversight investigation?

  • ian

    “This is not a deal breaker with them. Indeed, it may actually make it easier to quell any incipient rebellion in the [DUP] ranks.”

    How so?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ingram,

    ‘MI5 have never been involved in speeding, rape nor Burglary.’

    Wanna bet?

    ‘I have explained to you previously that SB officers working now for MI5 are NOT SECONDED but are established posts.’

    I have explained to you previously that the supposed knowledge or experience of a 20 yr out of date irrelevant either impress nor convince me.

    ‘The SDLP have just made the point that these activities WILL NOT BE OPEN TO ANY local scrutiny.The Ombudsman will not be able to investigate incidents like she would be able in the case of Loyalism.’

    It is naive of the SDLP and typically untruthful of you to claim that their could be any local scrutiny of MI5. They will do what they will do aided and abetted by their government. That being the case they would have polluted any organisation that they came into contact with. Civic policing and the ability to hold that organisation alone to scrutiny then would have been damaged by PSNI officers inevitably benefitting from the ‘do as you like’ remit given to MI5.

    Check the archives it has turned out as I said it would.

  • ingram

    Ian,

    The SDLP support the CJS.

    That means they support them.

    Black and white.

    Ingram

  • Yokel

    Mick Fealty

    I believe there has been talk of local politicians serving on the ISC at Westminster. In fact i believe the more precise talk was of a DUP person being involved.

    Ian

    Listen to Scrappy Doo (Ian Paisley Jnr). All he said was that it was a re-statement of fact. I suspect it’ll be seen pretty much that way. I’m no expert on intelligence operations in NI but I always thought it was pretty much as the PM’s statement anyway.

    Ingram

    Yeah Brendan D was the one I was thinking of.

  • ingram

    Pat,

    Now you are being silly.

    Sinn Fein supports the Britsh criminal justice system. YES

    That includes MI5? Yes. The PM and SOS today confirmed their role in policing Republicans who are involved in terrorist activity.

    If you check my two posts from last evening all these aspects were covered in detail. I could re post it if you require.

    QUOTE MI5 have never been involved in speeding, rape nor Burglary.’

    Wanna bet?

    Yes, I would.

    Please post proof that MI5 have ever engaged in civic policing and in particular any role in speeding, rape or burglaries.

    Pat, lets be honest mate. This is not what you wanted. Its what you were always going to get BUT it is not what you wanted.

    MI5 are responsible for investigating and monitoring Republicans? yes or No?

    PSNI are responsible for speeding , rape , burglary.? Not Republican terrorist activity.

    Martin

    PS. In relation to accountability. You have less accountability today than you had previously.That is a FACT.

    Like Mick Fealty said.Sinn Fein just privatised the SB! LOL

  • Mick Fealty

    Ian,

    “How so?”

    I asked a senior party official last night.

  • Aaron McDaid

    ingram,
    I’m not sure how you can say MI5 is part of the criminal justice system – surely, its role is to do stuff that can’t be legally justified through the usual legal channels.

    Anyway, they and others will continue to do their thing in the dark, and people will continue to argue like hell about it. The important thing is that the PSNI’s role is accountable. So if the PSNI assist(collude with) MI5 then that shouldn’t be covered up – for example turning over a document to them. Who knows what MI5 will do with it, the main thing is that the PSNI can be held to account and expected to transparently justify that assistance.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ingram,

    ‘QUOTE MI5 have never been involved in speeding, rape nor Burglary.’

    It was just your bad grammar. I think you meant they were not involved in investigating these crimes. I thought you meant involvement in the participation of such crimes.

    ‘Pat, lets be honest mate. This is not what you wanted. Its what you were always going to get BUT it is not what you wanted.’

    What I wanted can be retrieved from the archives. You had previously attributed stances to me that you had concoted, now you are a mind reader.

    Civic policing is the main concern of the nationalist community. It can oversee, question and hold the PSNI to account, without the PSNI hiding behind the ‘national security’ veil that MI5 can be counted upon to mount at every opportunity.

  • ingram

    Yokel.

    I thought that was the case you had in mind.

    That case is one that Stevens has looked into.I supplied the documents to him and other evidence.

    The Branch HAD been warned on three different occassions that he was being targetted by Nelson and his boys.

    The Branch was also told on two occassions that the IRA suspected him of being an informer.That information was supplied by Agents within the security department.

    The RUC uniforms used in the attack were ” Borrowed” from RUC Mountpottinger station.The RUC SB had been told , WHEN WERE AND HOW that attack was to take place.

    The reason why they allowed that “Hit” to continue is complicated.

    It involves the presence of other Agents, with more shelf live than Ruby.

    What I can say with 100% confidence is the RUC SB had the prior notice to stop that hit.

    In simplistic terms. It was murder.But for a reason.

    Martin

  • Briso

    MI5 are not part of the CJS. There is even some doubt as to whether they are subject to it in the way the rest of us are. The SDLP does not support MI5, or the role they have in NI. This does not appear to block them from the executive and I can’t see SF being blocked for taking a similar view, either in the view of the DUP (as confirmed by Mick F) or the governments.

  • Ian

    ingram:

    “Please post proof that MI5 have ever engaged in burglaries.”

    John Stevens’ offices were broken into and torched during the first inquiry into collusion between loyalists and security services.

    “Sinn Fein supports the British criminal justice system. YES. That includes MI5? Yes.”

    From UTV:

    Sinn Fein`s policing and justice spokesman Gerry Kelly claimed Mr Blair`s statement protected local policing from the “malign and corruptive control of MI5.

    “What we have achieved in this is that MI5 will have no part in policing in the north.

    “The whole issue of MI5, and these security services are also in the south of Ireland, is that if they act illegally then we have a PSNI which is not signed up to MI5 and which will hold them to account.

    “We want MI5 out of Ireland, there`s no place for it north or south. This gets us a very major step closer to that.

    “But we have never argued that the battle is over.”

    This is precisely the sort of thing that I fear will be used by Unionists as the next (and most insurmountable) of many hurdles.

    I’m not sure that institutionally ‘firewalling’ the two organisations amounts to the PSNI not being “signed up to MI5”. What does being “signed up to” entail?

  • ingram

    Pat,

    So you want to withdraw your offer of a bet? No problem mate.

    Glad you now agree. No evidence of MI5 EVER being involved in civic policing.

    In relation to mind reading. You dont need to be a mind reader mate to read Sinn Fein.

    They are like an open book. You will recall I did accurately predict Sinn Fein would accept policing and the CJS.

    Deal or No deal. Ingram say deal.

    Pat,

    You last comment really intrugues me.

    I think you may have misunderstood what is on offer in this deal.

    Pat quote”Civic policing is the main concern of the nationalist community. It can oversee, question and hold the PSNI to account, without the PSNI hiding behind the ‘national security’ veil that MI5 can be counted upon to mount at every opportunity. “Unquote

    In relation to any threat which POSES A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY, that is a matter for MI5 and not the local Civic police force.

    The PSNI will have no cause to hide behind any national security issues because the type of policing they will be involved with investigating will not be contentious. Rape, Joy Riding, Burglaries etc tend not to be of concern to those charged to protect NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES.

    That is what Sinn Fein negotiated. Like Mick said. Sinn Fein just privatised the PSNI SB. LOL

    Keep it coming Pat, I am enjoying this. LOL

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • ingram

    Ian,

    In relation to the burning down of Sir John Stevens offices.

    Nothing to do with MI5 mate. If you check his report he agrees with me that it was the military who carried it out.

    I was the first person to mention the Arson and attribute those involved. Sir John then admitted the act.

    Gerry Kelly,

    Is well, Gerry kelly. Hardly the brightest light bulb in the chandalier!.

    Good Luck.

    Martin

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ingram,

    no, the bet still stands, read the conditions. Your poor use of English has let you down.

    ‘I think you may have misunderstood what is on offer in this deal.’

    I think once again you have misinterpreted or perhaps more importantly cannot read what has been written. A trait that belies your inability to debate.

    The complete separation of the PSNI and MI5 means no PSNI involvement in MI5 operations, something that had previously been allowed. Future involvement would have allowed the PSNI to be polluted by association.

    The makeup of MI5 by ex-SB operatives is therefore irrelevant. The PSNI will only be held responsible for its own actions re civic policing.

    A suggestion, invent a position that you think I have adopted and argue from there, as it is this is easy. BTW you claim this to be your field of knowledge.

  • Ian

    “In relation to the burning down of Sir John Stevens offices.

    Nothing to do with MI5 mate. If you check his report he agrees with me that it was the military who carried it out.”

    MI stands for Military Intelligence? Anyway, any time MI5 plant a bug in someone’s house they have to burgle it in order to get in. Or do they ask permission first?

    I’m not sure I share Kelly’s optimism that the shiny new accountable civic police force will “hold [MI5] to account” for such actions.

  • eolas

    Yokel, I don’t know why you think I need to keep up – I think it is you that do not understand sufficiently. But please explain more to me…

    I think that this debate has missed a number of critical elements.

    MI5 will continue to operate in the north so long as it remains ‘part’ of the UK. Even after reunification, we can rest assured that MI6 will continue its nefarious work in the interests of the British state.

    The key issue in relation to ‘national security’ policing for Sinn Fein was to separate MI5 from local civic policing and to ensure at the same time that all PSNI actions were open to local accountability mechanisms. They have achieved that goal, at least on paper. The party looks to have determined that the threshold operational basis for completing the struggle within local policing structures has been achieved.

    The only lack of assurity is around the devolution of policing powers back to the north which is the last jigsaw piece remaining. There is no doubt that SF would like to see a commitment from the DUP on this but I suspect that the statement I quoted from Hain previously gave a structure through which the British would by-pass the DUP in all this by nominating non-political substitutes. I think and hope that this will be enough for Sinn Fein to move forward on this now.

    The key issue for British securocrats is that in separating MI5 from the PSNI in this way, Sinn Fein have made a huge gain in undermining the activities of MI5 itself. Most of their operations are dependent upon information garnered and sources run at local levels. Without this, MI5 itself is substantially neutered as a counter-Republican force. This is precisely why the MI5 wanted to retain powers to second existing PSNI officers (as per Annex E which was inserted surrepticiously at the St Andrew’s Agreement). Sinn Fein look to have defeated this last attempt by securocrats as evidenced by Blair’s statement today.

    Merely recruiting former PSNI or even SB officers will not suffice for this purpose. MI5 leadership have suffered a set-back. There can be no dobut of this. In the end, the British decided that this concession was necessary if Sinn Fein were to be brought on board with Policing.

  • ingram

    Pat,

    Ok, Bet stands. Please show me MI5 involvement in Civic policing.

    In relation to PSNI involvement.

    I have explained this previously and the PM makes reference to it in his statement.

    One or indeed Ten PSNI L/O will be able to become involved in MI5 Operations.

    Nothing new in that.The military will do the same.

    A beat Bobby was never used in PSNI SB operations.Those PSNI SB officers are now just re badged into MI5 pensions.

    The SDLP have just made the same point. That is why Mick Fealty made his point about privatisation of the PSNI SB on this board a few moments ago.

    Civic policing is not at issue here.You are trying to deflect the substance of the argument. MI5 have never engaged in that activity. Unless you can show they did previously perform civic policing duties?.

    The change is in how Intelligence upon Republicans will be collected. The PSNI SB WILL NO LONGER BE TASKED TO COLLECT INTELLIGENCE. They will however be required to write you a speeding ticket now they have left the safety of the armoured landrover for the comfort of their shinny new Panda Car.

    How times have changed. LOL

    Keep it coming slow boy.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • Aaron McDaid

    Pat says “[there will be] no PSNI involvement in MI5 operations”

    Pat,
    The PSNI will be involved in some way in MI5 operations as clearly stated by Blair. The issue is that nature of the involvement and the oversight of it.

  • ingram

    Ian.

    quote”MI stands for Military Intelligence? Anyway, any time MI5 plant a bug in someone’s house they have to burgle it in order to get in. Or do they ask permission first? “unquote

    They operate within the law. OK , lets agree on occassions they have not BUT there is no BODY set up to police them.The Westminster Intelligence committee is just an in house talking shop.

    The bottom line is very difficult to prove it.

    Reality.

    Depending upon the situation. On most occassions they can enter a Dwelling legally without your permission. As can the Customs and Excise with NO WARRANT.

    In the respect of say a political Party office. They would seek a warrant.

    I can assure you though that entry to your dwelling(if you live in the UK) if they have reasonable suspicion you are engaged in the commission of a crime is not an offence.

    It is a wide ranging viewpoint. Not dissimilar to the Yellow card for troops to open fire in Northern Ireland.

    They only have to BELIEVE their life or anyone elses is in danger to open fire.

    MI? Yes. Military Intelligence.

    Hope this helps.

    Martin

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ingram,

    ‘Ok, Bet stands. Please show me MI5 involvement in Civic policing.’

    I never stated there was MI5 involvement in civic policing.

    In fact there is no MI5 involvement in civic policing, that has been announced today, have you not been listening?

  • Yokel

    Eolas

    The article you quoted was about imposition etc of a Justice Minister. What you quoted has already been surpassed.

    How have MI5 leadership suffered a setback? They are just getting on with work as they always have done. In fact they are, I assume they are getting hold of some ex-SB agents as well and probably their handlers as well. Very smooth. Do you think there was some huge battle going on with Tony slugging it out with MI5? If MI5 didnt like it they know how to leak stories. They don’t care, its business as usual.

    Pat

    Hold on, if there are liasion officers between organisations dont that mean they work together in some way or another? Secondly I would have thought that MI5 wouldnt want to involve anybody else too much in their work, unless they absolutely needed to.

    I am beginning to see how this is being sold, fair enough if thats what is required for the membership. Unionists seem to be sitting on their hands over this and not really giving a fiddlers.

    Ingram

    Brendan D. Never simple is it.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Yokel,

    ‘Hold on, if there are liasion officers between organisations dont that mean they work together in some way or another?’

    I always thought that to liaise was to work to reconcile where difficult issues arose.

    ‘Secondly I would have thought that MI5 wouldnt want to involve anybody else too much in their work, unless they absolutely needed to.

    Absolutely correct, underlining the fact that anyone who though these people could be held accountable by any local overseer was extremely naive.

    ‘I am beginning to see how this is being sold, fair enough if thats what is required for the membership.’

    I believe it is being ‘sold’ on the basis that a person has the ability to read and make up their own minds. Certainly that is what i’m doing.

    ‘Unionists seem to be sitting on their hands over this and not really giving a fiddlers.’

    Who gives a fiddlers about unionists giving a fiddlers?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Aaron,

    my first point to Yokel covers how I see liaison between the PSNI and MI5. It would be up to the current bodies overseeing PSNI behaviour to keep a check on this.

  • An Bearnach

    Does anyone else find it kind of odd that Sinn Fein – which would not accept the PSNI with what are acknowledged as some of the best accountability mechanisms in the world – has accepted MI5 with none? Blair’s promise of separation between MI5 and PSNI means nothing, because MI5 has primacy in intellingence-gathering, including in the republican community. In fact, separation actually removes the small bit of oversight that the Ombudsman had established. We are going backwards, and this side deal will blow up just as the On-the-runs deal did a year ago, because there are victims of MI5 violence and collusion out there and they will not quietly accept a Sinn Fein diktat.

  • ingram

    Pat,

    I thought you were talking out of your rear end about MI5 involvement in civic policing. You can come back anytime, when you find a suitable example though?

    You seem to be as confused as the political party known as Sinn Fein. This is what THEY CLAIMED.

    quote”The St. Andrews proposals would have embedded MI5 into civic policing with the real potential of again creating a force within a force. “unquote

    Pat quote”In fact there is no MI5 involvement in civic policing, that has been announced today, have you not been listening?

    Are you still confused Pat? here is another one for you.

    Sinn Fein statement today.”Our objective has been to firewall local policing from the malign and corruptive control of MI5. The proposals today remove MI5 from policing structures in Ireland. unquote

    Ingram Comment

    MI5 has not been removed from policing structures in Ireland.

    1. MI5 will be responsible for collecting information upon Republican terrorist.The PM confirmed that today.

    2. Nothing in this agreement stops MI5 from operating in the Republic.

    No Change then.

    Ding Ding

    Yokel.

    Agreed. Northern Ireland is anything but simple. Just take a look at how Pat Mc is trying to play semantics with this MI5 issue.

    It does look like Sinn Fein have ditched the OTR issue for the time being though! it see ms they have their hands full keeping the ship together.

    Good Luck

    Martin

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ingram,

    ‘MI5 have never been involved in speeding, rape nor Burglary.’

    No mention of civic policing just someone rather confusingly trying to make a point.

    quote “The St. Andrews proposals would have embedded MI5 into civic policing with the real potential of again creating a force within a force. “unquote

    and

    ‘Pat quote”In fact there is no MI5 involvement in civic policing, that has been announced today, have you not been listening?’

    No contradiction there, what is the point?

    and

    ‘Sinn Fein statement today.”Our objective has been to firewall local policing from the malign and corruptive control of MI5. The proposals today remove MI5 from policing structures in Ireland. unquote

    They do, that has been accepted by Blair. That is why he has described the PSNI and MI5 as totally separate organisations.

    Again in your lastest post you seem to be using quotes as some sort of reference point. I realise that you are trying to make a point and are having difficulty doing so, it is just that I find it tiresome trying to tease it out.

    ‘It does look like Sinn Fein have ditched the OTR issue for the time being though! it see ms they have their hands full keeping the ship together.’

    As had been stated on a previous thread, that you claimed to have archived for referenced, the OTRs have nothing to do with the policing issue.

  • andy

    Martin
    Can I ask you an off-topic question? Yokel raised the Brendan Davidson case.
    I was thinking of that recently. Wasn’t he a good mate of Scapaticci’s?

    When he was killed presumably Scapaticci knew it had been facilitated by someone in the British Military establishment. I just wondered how he would have continued to work for an organisation that had essentially allowed his friend (and their servant) to be killed?
    Presumably he would think if they can do that to Davidson, they can do that to me?

    Just wondered if you had a view……

  • ingram

    Pat,

    I will leave it to others to point out the contradictions you seem unable to understand. No problem

    I think me and you are well aware of each others position. We may be taking away from the debate.

    You seem content to back this policing package. I am pleased for that.

    I pointed out to you and others the reality of the situation.

    Let us now agree to disagree. The Nationalist/ Republican community will decide the merit or otherwise of this negotiated deal.

    Andy.

    Yes, From memory Freddy was blood related to Ruby.They certainly were friends.

    Freddy only knew the IRA had rumbled him. Freddy controlled that side so there was no imminent threat to his life.Indeed the situation could have been recoverd.

    What Freddy was not aware of was the interest in him via Nelson and others. The guy who supplied the Instruction to Nelson to commence the targetting was and remains an SB tout.

    My own person view is the SB requested that targetting.

    Freddy was not to have known that aspect of the murder, if he had I am sure he would have been dissapointed in the attack.

    The Branch had their reasons for removing Davison, just like they tried with McGartland but no decent human being can work with those narrow principles.

    Good Luck

    Ingram

  • The Third Policeman

    Hmm, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps Sinn Fein are happy with this MI5 situation. After all, if I understand this whole arrangement properly, it’ll be MI5 who will be monitoring and arresting Republicans. If it was the PSNI performing this role then SF would have to support the arrests and condemn those arrested (if charged and convicted). But with the spooks carrying out these arrests SF can still have a bit of wriggle room (along the lines of ‘we dont support MI5, we’re working to get rid of them, they’re not accountable, your arrest was the fault of securocrats and brit thugs etc’).

    Fair enough, they still have to support any convictions, but perhaps the sight of the new fenian PSNI raiding homes in Andytown and Coalisland would just be too much.

    Or maybe i’m just getting too cynical about the whole thing.

  • eolas

    Yokel,

    > The article you quoted was about imposition etc of a Justice Minister. What you quoted has already been surpassed.

    I don’t see that at all. I think that this is a commitment which remains. The seal has yet to be set to this last remaining element however, the MI5 issue has been resolved to SF’s satisfaction however.

    > How have MI5 leadership suffered a setback? They are just getting on with work as they always have done.

    You obviously missed the most central part of my email. MI5 are losing the ability to gather intelligence on the ground through the PSNI and will have to rely on their own agents – whether ex-SB or not. This represents a significant achievement for Republicans as grassroots-based intelligence gathering is central to any ‘intelligence’ service. As well as that, those few PSNI who will liaise with the MI5 will be held accountable locally and will be regularly substituted preventing the creation of a putative ‘force within a force’.

    > Do you think there was some huge battle going on with Tony slugging it out with MI5?

    I doubt there was much slugging out but they’ve certainly moved backwards from Annex E as demonstrated by Kelly. This has taken quite a time since SF came out against that section of the agreement. This has been a rough month all around.

  • parcifal

    martin,
    we’ve both retired hence our ability to spend alot of time here on Sluggers.
    I’d a business doing breakfasts and lunches in Bed and Breakfasts.
    You could therefore say.

    You’re ex special branch
    whereas I’m ex special brunch

    LOL

  • ingram

    Eolas.

    I think you are not factoring in the most important aspect into your assessment.

    quote This represents a significant achievement for Republicans as grassroots-based intelligence gathering is central to any ‘intelligence’ service.

    Comment.

    MI5 have recruited many of the old SB/FRU handlers. They have taken control of 100% of all SB sources.

    The reason for this is to make the transition seamless for the Agent.

    The major concern for any Intelligence organisation is to ensure the constant stream of material.That will not be hampered by this planned move. Indeed , previously the SB had to operate under the watchfull eye of the Ombudsman. MI5 do not have those concerns.That makes their ability to work BOTH sides of the border so much easier.

    This reorganisation is not unique to Northern Ireland. It is happening in all parts of the UK.It is not something Sinn Fein had a say in.

    In relation to a PSNI L/O. They merely facilitate the a room in a police station or the odd Police man etc.

    They are not integral to a Operation. The Ombudsman would only able ask. How did you obtain that room PC Plod?

    Regards.

    Martin

  • Yokel

    Eolas

    This circle isnt going to be squared. You see one thing and I see something very different.

    Pat

    If you believe that PSNI / MI5 liaison is purely to sort out difficulties you work away. If there’s a threat the government and its agencies will not give two hoots for Tony Blair statements. Words, and Tony specializes in those.

    You know as well as I do what I mean about the DUP not giving out about it. If the DUP saw a concession they’d be whinging. They haven’t. There are multiple ways of working out if youve had success and one is to look at what your opponents are doing. Anyway who gives two hoots about SF moaning about Paisley’s lack of clarity, sure what do SF know anyhow? Why should anyone care?

    An Bearnach

    As I said, if there was limited oversight and its now gone at SF’s request who were SF trying to protect from oversight?

  • ingram

    Yokel,

    quote”As I said, if there was limited oversight and its now gone at SF’s request who were SF trying to protect from oversight?

    LOL

    Now you are getting to the sensitive bit? shall we leave that to another day! before Sinn Fein blow a fuse to Mick?

    Regards.Ding Ding

    Mr Brunch

  • Wilde Rover

    At the risk of addressing the thread,

    “The handling of national security intelligence throughout the European Union, including Northern Ireland, is designed to provide a consistent and co-ordinated response to the grave threat posed by international terrorist groups such as al Qaida.”

    Would the 24 hour news station have ever happened without the British cartographer?

    Obviously, one of them thought it was a damn fine idea to draw a line through the middle of a tribal area and call one side Afghanistan and the other Pakistan.

    And was it not the bould Winston who came up with that knickerbocker ice-cream country called Iraq?

    And is the UK (Norn Iron/Six Counties included) not Number One on the US Terror Country Chart?

    Surely if the master is wandering around making a mess there bloody well better be a butler around to clean it up.

  • eolas

    No one suggested that MI5 wouldn’t continue its activities in Ireland (any part of it). They would and will anyhow.

    This is about ensuring that the PSNI are opened up entirely to local scrutiny. Only on that condition could Republicans ever enter or support the PSNI.

    My point is that if someone walks into the PSNI and offers information, that information and its use will not be hidden from local accountability mechanisms. This is undoubtedly a reverse for British military intelligence who would like all that under wraps for their own ends.

    MI5 will lose considerable ‘reach’ without PC Plod to do stuff and hear stuff locally in a hidden manner. At least that’s the promise. One aspect to the struggle will now be to expose the failures to live up to this new form of civic policing.

    There was no comprehensive oversight of the SB or any PSNI on ‘national security’ matters under Annex E if you read it carefully. SS in conjunction with SB would continue to run agents in relation to ‘national security’ matters and would not be open to local accountability mechanisms. Only the blind could miss that this represents a gain for nationalists.

    Kelly has correctly compared and contrasted IMHO.

  • HG

    An Bearnach, it seems SF are happy to take the British government on its word rather than ensure there are clear mechanisms in place for complaints. So much for SF negociating skills! You just know when it all goes pear shaped, they’ll try and tell us that it isn’t their fault though!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Yokel

    ‘You know as well as I do what I mean about the DUP not giving out about it.’

    Sorry I leave things like reading minds to Ingram.

    ‘If the DUP saw a concession they’d be whinging.’

    I don’t make my assessments on anything based on noises emanating from the DUP.

    ‘Anyway who gives two hoots about SF moaning about Paisley’s lack of clarity, sure what do SF know anyhow? Why should anyone care?’

    Well those interested in devolution as without SF no devolution is possible.

  • Darragh

    “…without SF no devolution is possible…”

    True. But this is not the first time SF have place a choke hold on the Nationalist community they claim to represent. I for one would like to know what mechanisms has Gerry negociated to make intelligence gathering subject to oversight and complaints?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘But this is not the first time SF have place a choke hold on the Nationalist community they claim to represent.’

    What choke hold? The majority of nationalists vote for SF.

    Britsh intelligence have murdered and colluded in murder all through their history in this place. Not one, not one of their personnel has been charged with anything. Their government will do anything to ensure that stays in place. Therefore the belief that there could be any locally appointed scrutineer of British national security services is naive.

  • New Yorker

    Who decides what is a matter of national security? And, is the process really accountable to anyone or any body such as the PM or a Parlimentary committee?

  • topdeckomnibus

    New Yorker

    The right question.

    MI5 will always work back from the final dominoes they are protecting … and go back down the civic policing chain to stop the first domino toppling.

    In my experience this includes calls for care inquiry into Social Services child care deaths and calls for inquiry into care standards and deaths in private care homes. It includes refusing crime complaints about police firearms certificate issues and paramilitary live fire training at a gun range.

    The idea that their influence/control is limited is like the concept of being a little bit pregnant. It is just a mild case … with no consequences down the line.

  • Are you sure?

    eolas

    “No one suggested that MI5 wouldn’t continue its activities in Ireland (any part of it).”

    Are you sure about that?

    “We reject any role for MI5 in Ireland or in civic policing.”

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/16629

  • So many words to say something which is really stone simple.

    MI5 has validated that the chuckies will join with the PSNI this year and they are boxing up their stereo and old LP’s and moving out, moles, stooges and all.

    So does that portend a PSNI hurling team with midfielders named Billy?

  • Pete Baker

    “MI5 has validated that the chuckies will join with the PSNI this year and they are boxing up their stereo and old LP’s and moving out, moles, stooges and all.”

    They’re not moving out, Jim… far from it.

  • Ass, like Londons eye.

    For many many months I have sat back and watched you all slobber on about Sinn Fein, MI5 & the Branch. trying to work out the way they work, & what the big picture is. Take it from someone who has had it shoved up his Ar*e side ways for Manny Manny years by the security services, & Martin Mc, & the IRA army council, Like it or not you have all been tangoed by the British establishment. ( I Thank God, I was not alone.)

  • Fuiseog

    Who is it that gains here in the North of Ireland from a republican ‘infiltrated’ or ‘contaminated’ neo-PSNI being completely detached from a reconstituted Special branch/Fru retro-MI5 security set-up full of knecks, sectarian bigots and doers of appalling evil?

    The British establishment and the secret service.

    How did this happen? Sinn Féin’s MI5 agents of influence influencing and smoothing the path for the cultivation and of MI5’s future agents of influence (think very, very long game)… and being so secure in their agency roles as to be bragging, about nay trumpeting, their success (!!) on the 6 oclock news.

    Sin a bhfuil, so blind and deluded are Patsy, Chris and Henry srl … that even now after today they can’t grasp the pitiful playing out of a compromised ‘peace’ strategy by a completely compromised Sinn Féin leadership accountable only to their Oc’s in MI5 !!!

    And people on this blog are wondering why Baby Doc and the Dupid’s aren’t boovered ???

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • “They’re not moving out, Jim… far from it. “

    No sweat Pedro, I didn’t mean to deny the freakin’ obvious.

    They’ll still be around to run both sides of this wee struggle. They’ve been pulling the strings through moles on both sides for going on 40 years and I doubt if there’s a twelve step program for that kind of power withdrawal.

    What all this navel gazing of 70-odd posts is about is that MI5 now knows for certain that the shinners are soon going to have administrative posts in the PSNI, even if the rest of the province is still milling around in the endless debate. That means that MI5 has to build a firewall since the republicans will soon be about the place nosing into the odd black op or two. Therefore, Via Con Dios, flatfoots, no interface on ops or touts, nicht, nada, zip.

    Back to the real world. Got my Losmandy today. It’s now raining.

  • ingram

    Fuiseog,

    quoteHow did this happen? Sinn Féin’s MI5 agents of influence influencing and smoothing the path for the cultivation and of MI5’s future agents of influence (think very, very long game)… and being so secure in their agency roles as to be bragging, about nay trumpeting, their success (!!) on the 6 oclock news. unquote

    Surely not! what would make you come to that viewpoint?

    * shakeshead*

    Ding Ding

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Fuiseog,

    ‘How did this happen? Sinn Féin’s MI5 agents of influence influencing and smoothing the path for the cultivation and of MI5’s future agents of influence (think very, very long game)… and being so secure in their agency roles as to be bragging, about nay trumpeting, their success (!!) on the 6 oclock news.’

    Yip when all else fails make way for the ready smear.

  • Fuiseog

    Hmmm, interesting.

    A back handed compliment on a blog post from a black hearted disowned spook who, in missing that old adrenalin rush, nowadays gets his kicks from revealing the Brit game plan (of which he was undoubtedly a player) bit by bit to watch the old enemy and the apparatchik Shinners squirm.

    Alongside a shallow hypocritical retort from a man who claims allegiance (online at least) to the ‘smear’ kings of Ireland da da …. Sinn Féin.

    You can hardly deny Pat the “coincidence” of mutual advantage, outlined in numerous posts on this thread alone, of the Sinn Féin line and MI5’s interests in the North of Ireland?

    Like I said I wonder how that happened and If Sinn Féin have achieved such a coup in this zero sum game why are the DUPid’s up in arms about it at this crucial time and during all this political eyeballing?

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Fuiseog,

    if you expect a free ride with your feeble smears try elsewhere.

    Perhaps you can share with us what you know and who you got it from? I can guess, following Ingram and a few sozzled hacks.

    Better off sticking to your sham fights in the Swilly and a limited imagination. The porveyors of disinformation can’t believe their luck with the likes of you.

    BTW if you base political manoeuvrings on the basis of the reaction of others don’t ever, ever, ever play poker. Your account will end up as bankrupt as your thought process.

  • ingram

    Pat,

    Go easy on Fuiseog he has nailed my colours to the mast, was he close on you.Perhaps he is a meduim?

    Anyway to serious stuff.

    Do you play Poker mate?

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • fuiseog

    Medium – a person through whom the spirits of the dead are alleged to be able to contact the living. (Dictionary.com)

    Here’s hoping Mr Ingram … sooner rather than later, as Fuiseog gives the spook a wry smile and a mutual tip of the hat … big boys rules and all that 😉

    “The porveyors of disinformation can’t believe their luck with the likes of you.”

    You mean the likes of your sparing partner El Purveyor’ Ingram here in the daily ‘Pat and Marty’ show?

    Thats simply more tiresome drivel Pat. Have you nothing of substance to add? That’s mildly disappointing … at least Ingram is deceptively candid about his being rankled at my post and can cleverly twist his being annoyed at what he’d read. I kinda admire that in a way … whilst you being unable to cleverly twist anything … remain just twisted 😉

    Is mise
    Fuiseog

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Fuiseog,

    ‘Perhaps you can share with us what you know and who you got it from?’

    Nothing but silence and further nonsense, from the person who gave us the battle of the Swilly as proof (sic) of developments on the ground who later admitted the unfortunate use of tabloid language.

    Rankled by your post? An anonymous troll spreading smears, yeah really rankled there.