Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and a range of party representatives are
among over hundreds of republicans whose personal details have been
found on a unionist paramilitary death list.
Dozens of residents in the Short Strand area of east Belfast were
informed of the threat on Tuesday night but the PSNI police refused to
provide any details.
The PSNI subsequently confirmed that the source of the personal
information was a top-secret British military intelligence document that
"disappeared" from Castlereagh barracks in east Belfast in July
The base is used by the British Army's intelligence unit and the PSNI's
Special Branch, both of which have colluded with sectarian death squads
for over 30 years.
The dossier has been described as "a British army bible of leading
republicans across the north."
Last year, British officials initially tried to suppress news of the
document's disappearance, and then dismissed it as a "non story".
Although the UDA triumphantly declared it was in their hands, British
officials continued to deny it had been passed to unionist
Commenting on this latest development, Sinn Fein Belfast MLA Alex Maskey
said: "Given the fact that the personal details of 400 people are
believed to be contained in the Crown Forces dossier removed from
Castlereagh and given to one of the loyalist gangs it will come as no
surprise that more republicans are being visited this afternoon in
addition to the 50 people spoken to last night.
"However what the visit to Gerry Adams' home today does prove is
recently as July of last year the British state was still spying on the
Sinn Fein leaders at a time when we were trying to advance the peace
"The British have attempted to cover up this collusion scandal involving
the RIR since last July. The time for evasion is over. They have
endangered people's lives for long enough. All those who have had their
details passed to the loyalist gang must now be informed and the British
must come clean on the extent of this operation."
Republicans have accused the British government of cynically remaining
silent on the collusion threat to avoid jeopardising IRA peace moves.
investigation has been announced into the affair, although 28 British
RIR soldiers who were in a position to take the document were reportedly
relocated to other duties.
"The British government, British ministers and the PSNI have allowed
least 400 people and their families to live under threat for over 16
months without informing them of the danger," said McGuinness.
"The cynicism with which British officials decided to put people's
further at risk rather than expose the truth about wrongdoing within
their ranks is totally unacceptable. This is very serious. British
forces not only colluded by making information available to unionist
paramilitaries, the British authorities have further colluded by trying
to keep it a secret," said McGuinness.
The anti-collusion lobby group, An Fhirinne, has now demanded an
international public inquiry into the affair.
"News that dozens of nationalists and republicans have been told
their lives are in danger due to files taken from Castlereagh once again
highlights the issue of British state collusion with unionist death
squads," said group spokesman Robert McClenaghan yesterday
"To tell people that their personal details are in the hands of unionist
death squads and then refuse to say where the information came from is
to continue the cover-up of those involved.
"British military intelligence has been involved in supplying files
nationalists and republicans to death squads for many years. This is
"Only when we get to the root causes of collusion and remove from
duty those in military intelligence and PSNI Special Branch who are
still actively involved with unionist death squads will we ever resolve
North Belfast Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly said republicans
throughout Belfast were still being advised of the threat this week.
Mr Kelly demanded an immediate top-level meeting with the British and
Irish governments to demand answers to what he described as a
"I met both governments in July 2004 when this scandal first broke.
"It was in the course of these meetings that the British government
security minster of the time, Ian Pearson, stated clearly that the
missing file was not in the hands of loyalists.
"This has proven not to be the case and the effect of these denials
the subsequent cover-up has been 400 people and their families have been
living under threat without being informed and therefore unable to take
measures to protect themselves."
After receiving news that her details were in the possession of a
unionist death squad, north Belfast Sinn Fein councillor Margaret
McClenaghan accused the British government, British army and PSNI of
"playing Russian roulette with the lives of 400 people and their