20 March 2006

Bombshell

Sunday Life

19 March 2006

An IRA man was allowed to send bomb-making technology from America in 1993 even though MI5 and the FBI monitored him buying and posting the equipment.

The allegation, by a former agent who uses the pseudonym Kevin Fulton, is highly embarrassing to MI5, which has recently been accused of failing to pass on a warning to the RUC that the Real IRA planned to bomb Omagh in 1998.

Former Army agent Fulton, who infiltrated the IRA in 1981 after serving in the UDR, claims in a book to be published next month that MI5 sent him to New York to buy coded infra red flash units which were used to detonate bombs by remote control.

In his book Unsung Hero, he claims an MI5 officer travelled ahead of him on Concorde to arrange with the FBI to allow him and another IRA man to rendezvous and carry out the purchase of the infra red units, which military jamming devices couldn't block out.

Fulton's IRA accomplice, who came from Kilkeel, broke his cover to meet him and days later successfully completed the purchase of the units and posted them to the Republic.

In his book, Fulton claims he began to do 'specialist work' for MI5 from 1991 and met a senior FBI agent in New York in 1993 who set up a surveillance operation to record a meeting between Fulton and the Kilkeel Provo, who had evaded FBI surveillance and gone to ground.

The meeting at the Murray Hill Inn was filmed and the Kilkeel man was successfully tailed and tracked down to an address in the city.

It's also understood the FBI and MI5 allowed the Kilkeel man to purchase the flash units and post them to Ireland before approaching him and pressurising him to become an FBI informant.

When he refused to become an agent he was arrested and held in the New York Detention Centre until after the IRA declared a ceasefire in September, 1994.

Fulton was given money by the brother of a well-known IRA leader in the border area to go to America to purchase a quantity of the infra red flashes.

It's not clear why MI5 wanted to assist the IRA to buy the coded flash units or why the FBI allowed the devices to reach Ireland.

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