26 February 2006

White told Branch I was target - they didn't bother warning me

Sunday Life

Johnston Brown
26 February 2006

The revelation that Johnny Adair's right hand man, John White, was a Special Branch agent did not come as a complete surprise to me - but it did make very angry.

It angered me because Special Branch never relayed any warnings to me that Adair was plotting revenge attacks against my family and myself for my role in having the UFF boss jailed in 1995.

My home in Ballyclare was bombed by Adair's UDA C company in October, 2000, and he also set in motion a sick plan to kidnap one of my teenage sons. I find it impossible to believe that double-killer John White was not giving Special Branch information about these events.

Why? Because I know for a fact that White tried to protect me from Adair, if only for his only selfish reasons - to concentrate on raking in money from crime.

White went to a senior police officer (not a Branch man) at Tennent Street in 2000 and warned Adair was obsessed with taking revenge against me.

I believe White did this because he was frustrated that Special Branch were not acting on his warnings.

White had actually gone with Adair to Tennent Street to discuss arrangements for the Shankill festival in August, 2000, which, as it turned out, was to trigger a bloody loyalist feud.

On the way out, White stopped on the stairs and said something like: "Oh! there is one other thing I meant to say. You go on Johnny, I'll see you in a minute."

White then told the officer: "The wee man can't sleep for scheming up ways of getting back at Jonty Brown. He's obsessed. Every 10 minutes it's Brown, Brown, Brown. You've got to get that man out of his house."

After the officer passed the warning to me, my wife and I set about making arrangements to move house.

I was getting similar warnings from my own informants, But, I repeat, I got no such warnings from Special Branch.

In fact, I got no assistance at all from Special Branch from the moment in 1999 when I co-operated with the Stevens Inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane. I was shunned.

The revelation that White was working for Special Branch also adds weight to another serious concern I have about the UFF bomb attack on my home, which was fitted with all the latest security measures.

The only security measure one that failed was the Hawkeye radio alarm system, which was run by Special Branch's Technical Services Unit.

The reliable 'Hawkeye' alarm system was linked to all local police vehicles. But it mysteriously failed that night, helping the UFF bombers to make their escape.

Johnny Adair has rubbished claims White was a Branch agent but I believe a lot of things will start to make sense to him now.

::Johnston Brown is the author of Into The Dark: 30 Years In The RUC.

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