“MI5 is spending £40m a year in counter-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland.”

In the Observer Henry McDonald reports on MI5’s expenditure on national security in Northern Ireland, including operations against republican paramilitary groups, via MI5’s £20million regional headquarters. From the Observer report

MI5 is spending £40m a year in counter-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland. In a bid to stop the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and the Óglaigh na hÉireann faction from destabilising power sharing, MI5 has set aside 15% of its annual £250m budget, the Observer has learned.

Around 10% of MI5’s 2,200 UK agents are employed in Northern Ireland, security sources said this weekend. As well as involvement in operations against dissident republican terrorists, MI5’s regional HQ in Holywood, Co Down, also eavesdrops on al-Qaida suspects both in Northern Ireland and Britain.

And a reminder from one those previous posts

Sinn Fein’s policing and justice spokesman, Alex Maskey, told Monitor: ‘I treat anything MI5 does with suspicion and our aim is to get it out of here.’

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he.. But that’s just another legacy issue.

The Historical Enquiries Team might yet reveal more of that elusive truth about the past..