During the past three weeks, the Guardian newspaper has run several articles on the Force Research Unit (FRU), an undercover security operation financed and run by the British state in Northern Ireland for more than two decades.
The articles detail how this terror network—involving up to 100 soldiers and double agents— organised a series of covert intelligence and military operations and authorised their agents to carry out numerous illegal activities including bomb making, murder, and the shooting of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers.
Through interviews with alleged former members of the FRU, the Guardian reports that the FRU was in active operation until the British and Irish governments signed the Northern Ireland Agreement three years ago. Afterwards ex-FRU members complain they were discarded by the British secret services and left without any protection.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) and successive British governments have never officially acknowledged the existence of the FRU network and have remained silent on these latest allegations. But the Guardian articles appear at a time when the history and operation of the FRU are coming under closer scrutiny.