ARMY'S HUMAN SACRIFICE; Secret Unit Allowed the Murder of UDA Leader to Save Mole

By Harkin, Greg | The People (London, England), October 15, 2000 | Go to article overview

ARMY'S HUMAN SACRIFICE; Secret Unit Allowed the Murder of UDA Leader to Save Mole


Harkin, Greg, The People (London, England)


A SHADOWY army unit at the centre of Ulster murder plot allegations ALLOWED the assassination of a loyalist leader - to save a top mole.

Sunday People - gagged by the Ministry of Defence over our allegations about the Force Research Unit in recent weeks - can reveal that UDA commander John McMichael was sacrificed by the army intelligence outfit.

The death was a blow to peace hopes in Northern Ireland at the time.

McMichael, father of current UDP leader Gary, had produced the UDA's Common Sense document advocating a peace deal similar to the current Good Friday Agreement.

He died in an IRA booby-trap explosion under his car three days before Christmas 1987.

We can reveal, for the first time today, that the Force Research Unit had received at least 10 warnings about the murder plot from various agents - including Britain's most senior agent inside the IRA, the person known as Steak Knife.

FRU handlers however decided to do nothing about the plot when they could have prevented it.

The reason was to protect the notorious UDA racketeer Jim Craig who was working for RUC Special Branch.

In 1986 McMichael had accused Craig of being an informer but had failed to persuade the UDA inner council to take action against him.

Craig, who ran the UDA's multi-million pound rackets, hit back a year later when he passed on McMichael's details to the IRA.

Sunday People understands that warnings about the McMichael murder plot were passed to the Force Research Unit.

These included the Provos' intended method chosen by IRA leaders, as well as dates for the attack.

John McMichael was not told about any of those warnings.

The FRU also failed to take any of the normal actions in such circumstances, such as disarming the booby-trap device, or even arresting the IRA team which planted it.

In essence, they allowed the murder to take place.

Sunday People understands that details of those intelligence warnings are contained in documents taken from Army Headquarters in Lisburn by detectives from the Stevens Inquiry.

The inquiry, led by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, is probing allegations of collusion between members of the security forces and loyalist AND republican paramilitaries.

The attack was a setback for the UDA as McMichael was trying to move the organisation in a political direction.

His Common Sense document, which was published before to his death, set out a new political future for Ulster.

It advocated power-sharing between nationalists and unionists. …

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