Coalisland man ‘records recruitment bid’

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An attempt by Special Branch police to recruit a republican as an informer has been captured on camera for the first time, it is believed.

Shane Coleman, a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement from Coalisland, County Tyrone, said he videoed men he believed to be members of PSNI Special Branch during an encounter at Newark Airport in New Jersey last week.

He said he began recording after growing suspicious that he was being followed by two men while returning from a holiday.

While Crown force attempts to recruit informers and agents are common, it is extremely rare for an operation to be captured on camera by the intended target.

Mr Coleman’s lawyer said he was bringing the recruitment bid to the police ombudsman. A copy of the video has not yet been made available to the public and Irish Republican News have not been able to directly confirm its existence.

Mr Coleman said he recognised one of the men from a previous attempt to recruit him as an informer in March this year. In an unusual sequence of events, he directly confronts the two Special Branch men as they follow him through the airport.

During a brief exchange, one undercover policeman says: “You have choice”, to which Mr Coleman replies: “What’s the choice?”

The man then says: “We want a wee word with you.”

Mr Coleman replies: “I told you before to go to f**k, all right?”

The man says: “We want a wee word. Shane, you know the bother you are in back home?”

Mr Coleman replies: “Get to f**k out of my road.”

Mr Coleman said he was being “harassed and intimidated” and feared for his safety.

“I have gone public to send out a message to other people who are approached or feel intimidated to come forward and expose it for what it is. I also want to send a message to the British to leave me alone,” he said.

“They have singled me out because I live in a republican area and in their words said during a previous approach I ‘can get close to people they are interested in’.”

Mr Coleman said it was the fifth time he has been approached by MI5 and the PSNI since 2006.

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