MI5’s deadly hierarchy of agents
MI5’s deadly hierarchy of agents


Questions continue to mount about the findings of the police investigation ‘Operation Kenova’, particularly in regard to an apparent pattern of Crown Force double agents outing and executing each other, with the knowledge of their handlers.

One double agent, Joe Fenton, is suspected of direct involvement in the murder of two other double agents. It is believed husband-and-wife informers Gerard and Catherine Mahon were shot dead suddenly in 1985 at the direction of Fenton, before his cover was blown and he himself was executed.

The highest known British double agent — Freddie Scappaticci, known as ‘Stakeknife’, who was a senior figure in the IRA’s Internal Security Unit — was involved in all three executions.

Fenton’s RUC Special Branch handler was subsequently awarded the ‘Queen’s Police Medal’ for ‘distinguished service and devotion to duty’.

The £40m Kenova report into Stakeknife’s multiple murders and abductions, which was published last week, has shone a light on Fenton’s actions.

The report uses ambiguous language to play down and avoid revealing too many details of the ‘Dirty War’ horrors that took place at the direction of the British state intelligence agencies.

However, Paragraph 46.7 reports the finding of “murders committed by agents, including cases where one agent knowingly or unknowingly murders another”, without offering details.

Fenton was eventually executed by the IRA in 1989, but before he could be interrogated – leading to the suspicion that other agents were being protected.

Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said last week that the Kenova report raises “some really significant issues of a wider systemic nature”.

In a letter to British Direct Ruler Chris Heaton-Harris Mr Winters said that it was clear that “a number of other members of the PIRA Internal Security Unit had a same or similar status as that of Fred Scappaticci as an informer and/or state agents”.

He has raised the issue of a public inquiry.

He said “Kenova’s findings on state failure to intervene and save lives isn’t confined to Fred Scappaticci”.

“The report opens up the door to the wider assessment that those state failures extend to other agents in PIRA ISU at this time in the conflict,” he said.

“That suggests very strongly that the lives of……others not linked to Fred Scappaticci could have been saved.

“Today we have placed these wider sensitive concerns with the Secretary of State for his urgent consideration.

“When you look at this it’s easy to see why an apology won’t work for many families.”

“They are understandably asking for an inquiry to take the work of Kenova to the next stage.”

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