Spycops: When the public is the enemy

The Undercover Policing Inquiry has just completed its first tranche of hearings covering the years 1968 to 1982. The disclosures provide a glimpse into how socialist and left-wing campaigns were targeted by the Metropolitan Police, and how information was shared with the security services and government. The establishment has remained silent for over 40 years […]

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Red List: MI5’s Culture War

The greatest challenge, the most important task, facing security and intelligence agencies should be to identify threats to the public from genuinely hostile forces, ranging from state agencies to violent individuals motivated by extreme ideologies.  Their biggest temptation is to use the special resources and laws – the privileges – at their disposal to amass […]

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UK government deployed 15 staff on secret operation to seize Julian Assange

The British government assigned at least 15 people to the secret operation to seize Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, new information shows.  The WikiLeaks founder was given political asylum by Ecuador in 2012, but was never allowed safe passage out of Britain to avoid persecution by the US government.  The Australian journalist […]

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Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast. (Photo: Charles McQuillan / Getty)

How MI5 is helping to cover up sexual abuse

Much publicity was given recently to the apology by political and religious leaders in Northern Ireland for the horrific sexual and emotional abuse young boys in care homes had suffered over many years.  But on one notorious home, the subject of a cover-up that remains unexplained, there was silence. The public apology was recommended more […]

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UDA vigilantes detain IRA suspects in Belfast, 1972. (Photo: David Lomax / Getty)

Blood on London’s hands

A damning report on police collusion with murders in Northern Ireland has just been published. Whitehall knew for decades that the UDA paramilitary group was carrying out wholesale murder – yet ministers long refused to ban it as a terrorist organisation and officials continued to meet its leaders.

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Partygate inquisitor-in-chief Sue Gray (Photo: Parliament TV)

Partygate referees: why are they so spooky?

At least ten people with alleged or known links to British intelligence agencies or covert warfare now hold key roles overseeing government. The murky past of some of these figures means they are strictly off limits to full public scrutiny. Some might think this makes them an odd choice to enforce accountability.  Here’s a short […]

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The Miami Showband (Credit: Handout)

Bombing the ‘Irish Beatles’ – who ordered their murder?

A court has awarded £1.5 million in compensation to survivors of a terrorist attack in Northern Ireland that involved collusion between British soldiers and paramilitary forces. But those responsible for controlling the ‘Miami Showband’ killers have still not been held accountable.

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Seven of the ‘Hooded Men’ in 2018 (Photo: Liam McBurney / AFP via Getty)

‘Something awkward’: When Conservative ministers authorised torture

“This could grow into something awkward if pursued,” wrote the head of the Army Department in the Ministry of Defence in the margins of a letter in 1977. He could never have imagined those words would form part of a Supreme Court ruling decades later. The “something awkward” was a bold statement that British ministers […]

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Ex-Met police officer Simon Byrne leads Northern Ireland’s force (Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty)

Belfast murders: What are police trying to hide?

South Belfast, February 1992. Two gunmen burst into a bookmaker’s shop on Ormeau Road. One opens fire indiscriminately with an assault rifle. The second uses a Browning pistol, firing at the wounded at close range. By the time they are finished, five people are dead. Fast forward almost 30 years to today, and the truth […]

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Britain’s ambassador to Somalia visits the police Goodir Unit (Photo: FCDO / Twitter)

David Amess murder: How is Britain tackling the terror threat from Somalia?

The UK Foreign Office has spent around £24 million since 2013 assisting an armed police squad in Somalia whose counter-terrorism operations are shrouded in secrecy. Funding for Somalia’s Goodir Unit is intended to stop attacks by Al Shabab, the Al Qaeda-linked militant group in East Africa that claims to have recruited British Somalis from London, […]

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What was Britain’s most senior police officer doing with MI6?

During her career, Cressida Dick, Britain’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has repeatedly escaped full accountability over her role in controversial cases. One murky episode is her time in the ‘Foreign Office’, understood to really mean MI6.

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Northern Irish police trained Gulf regime ahead of crackdown

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is facing fresh scrutiny over its long-standing ‘public order’ and security training of Omani police, following last month’s suppression of protests in the country.

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Revealed: Secretive British anti-crime agency spent millions training Colombia’s repressive police

As protests in Colombia are met with deadly violence, Declassified reveals the UK’s National Crime Agency trained the Colombian police in a multimillion-pound five-year programme that is shrouded in secrecy.

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Largest protests since Arab Spring sweep Oman as UK support for regime rises

As Oman’s UK-trained police confront popular protests against unemployment and corruption in the dictatorial Gulf state, the British military prepares to deploy an aircraft carrier to a new UK naval base in Oman, and the head of the Royal Air Force praises his Omani counterpart.

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Will UK security agencies learn lessons from their collusion in crimes in Northern Ireland?

On the centenary of Ireland’s partition, Northern Ireland is changing. But the lessons from its recent violent ‘dirty war’, in which British agents colluded in killings, risk being ignored by the current British government.

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Burma bloodbath is a lesson Britain must learn from

The terrible scenes of young people being gunned down by Burma’s military junta should make British diplomats think hard about why their policy of aiding and trading with the regime went so wrong.

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Britain’s secret political police

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A shocking story of how a special squad of Britain’s Metropolitan Police, in collusion with MI5 – the domestic ‘security’ service – secretly infiltrated hundreds of UK political and campaign groups, and the question of whether the spying continues. As told by Asa Winstanley, who has personal experience.

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Britain backs most of the world’s repressive regimes, new analysis shows

More than half of the countries in the world rated as ‘not free’ are ruled by regimes that the British government supports.

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‘Tacit approval’ for killings: UK Foreign Office and police support to Kenyan anti-terror unit ‘operating like a criminal gang’ revealed

Britain’s Foreign Office knew Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) was involved in renditions of terror suspects yet paid for its new headquarters and continues assistance programmes, along with London’s Metropolitan Police, disclosures obtained by Declassified UK show.

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Detectives ‘not interested’ in probing army commanders about Northern Ireland murders, says veteran

A multimillion-pound police probe into murders allegedly committed by a British army agent inside the IRA in Northern Ireland is reluctant to question senior UK commanders in charge of the covert mission, a retired intelligence officer has told Declassified.

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How a British policeman helped normalise torture in a Gulf monarchy

As two political prisoners face execution in Bahrain, the country’s repressive justice system remains rooted in the career of Ian Henderson – one of the most notorious police officers the British empire ever produced, who caused suffering to scores of Bahrainis including members of my family.

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Revealed: British army bomb squad trained Hong Kong police at height of protests

A Hong Kong police officer received bomb disposal training from British soldiers at the same time as pro-democracy protesters were being arrested for possession of explosives, Declassified has found. The revelation comes as the UK military announces a freeze on training for Hong Kong.

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Exclusive: Met Police open war crimes investigation into British mercenaries

Police in London have opened an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by British mercenaries in Sri Lanka during the 1980s.

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Explainer: British collusion in Northern Ireland’s dirty war

Various sources — including declassified government files and official police and parliamentary reports on both sides of the border in Ireland — suggest that collusion between British security forces and loyalist paramilitary groups was systematic and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. The so-called “Troubles” in Northern Ireland began in the late 1960s. […]

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