The new republican party, Saoradh, has warned its supporters to be vigilant when confronted by British military intelligence, who they said are operating “outside the parameters of any legal framework”.
They said that MI5 has “always had tendency to waive legalities and standards” and said an example of a senior member who was recently detained by British state agencies at an airport.
Six men in suits approached the Saoradh member and advised he go to a separate part of the airport. Once there, he was taken to a small room where two of the six men came in and again announced themselves as ‘Border Officers’.”
The member of Saoradh described what happened next: “A different man then entered the room. On entry he offered to shake my hand, this I refused, but he proceeded to introduce himself as ‘Jim from MI5’.
“After a short exchange whereby he gave a short insight into his knowledge of my Republicanism, my membership of Saoradh and my character; he made me aware of the fact, he didn’t want to detain me as he had knowledge of my schedule.
“Expressing the view, that he really wanted me to ‘get in touch’ he gave me a printed phone number and the assurance, if I phoned it would be him who answered.
“As he was leaving, he instructed me not to tell anyone I had been approached by MI5. Once he was gone the two ‘Border Officers’ told me, ‘I was free to leave.’ They then walked me back to the main part of the airport.’”
Saoradh warned that deployment of MI5 and police to recruit informers has rapidly moved up in scale recently.
“Almost daily, the British policing service in the North misuse their powers by using stop and detain to try and recruit people as informers as opposed to what such legislation is designed for,” they said.
“Saoradh aims to make people aware, that MI5 work outside the parameters of any legal framework. The goal of MI5 is to gather intelligence by any means which, under the cloak of counter-insurgency they will delve into any form of malpractice including threats, harassment and in the case of one Republican who MI5 followed to Dubai, death threats.”
That noted that British police have been given extensive powers, some particularly intrusive -- when entering or exiting a port, they can detain a person up to nine hours without a lawyer.
But they noted: “MI5 do not possess such powers, you are not obliged to answer their questions.
“It is important that you always try and clarify who you are speaking to, as often the British authorities will send immigration officers, the British police and MI5 without a person necessarily knowing who is who.
“Always ask to whom you are speaking and try and get a name, if they won’t supply a name ask what agency they are from-police, immigration or MI5. Ask under what legal powers they are stopping or holding you. Ensure all such approaches are reported and logged with a solicitor and above all keep vigilant and safe.”