Recruitment target endangered by MI5 approach

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Members of a British intelligence agency who tried to recruit a vulnerable teenager have “put him at risk”, according to his mother.

Martin McKenna from Lurgan travelled to Wales earlier this month with his mother to attend a family party. It was the boy’s first holiday and first time on a plane.

He said that while walking in Glamorgan town centre he was approached by two men with northern accents who tapped him on the shoulder and said “Hi Marty”.

Martin said the men told him they wanted to “look after” him. “I asked them who they were and they just said ‘that doesn’t matter’ and that if I give them information on people that they would look after me,” he said.

Martin said the men handed him a cigarette box with 200 pounds inside and a piece of paper with a mobile number to contact them. His mother Anna said her son returned to the relative’s home where they were staying “in a distressed state”.

“I knew straight away something was wrong when I heard him calling me, you could hear it in his voice,” she said. “This is putting my son at risk, they should never have approached him and put him and our family in this position.”

Martin said he gave the money given to him by the men to a charity.

Peter Corrigan of Phoenix Law said he would be lodging a complaint to the Police Ombudsman.

“My client is a vulnerable young man, this puts him in a potentially dangerous situation,” he said.

“He is a young man with a completely clear criminal record and we will be asking the police ombudsman to investigate on why he was followed on holiday and approached in this way.”

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