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Date Posted: Wed, Apr 04 2007, 21:24:26 PDT
Author: Civil Rights Veterans
Subject: How the Loyalist death-squads were re-armed

Research below shows why the Civil Rights Veterans are being targeted by 'dirty-tricks' elements within the tabloid media and people who should know better within supposedly Catholic-Nationalist organisations, such as the Derry #1 Div.AOH. It beggars belief that some Hibs have so easily swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the ballerdash dished up by hacks within such papers as The Sunday World eg. Veterans Press Conference on abuse of prisoners: HMP Maghaberry, Feb. 22nd 2003.

From CR vets' 1993 files:


A FORMER member of the notorious Black Watch regiment of the British Army, Brian Nelson, was charged with two other members of the UDA with kidnapping a half-blind Catholic civilian, Gerald Higgins. The latter had his hands soaked in water before being electrocuted after having his hair burned off. He died shortly afterwards. Nelson was arrested and a subsequent court report labelled him the ring-leader. None were charged with attempted murder. Nelson was recruited by British Intelligence (date unknown). He was sentenced by the no-jury Diplock Courts to only seven years.

Loyalists, with expertise supplied by British Intelligence explode bombs on the same day in Dublin and Monaghan, which claimed over 30 lives and injured a great many more.

Former UDR men recruited as mercenaries by the racist South African regime as part of their drive against the ANC and SWAPO freedom struggles. Apartheid government establish informal links with loyalist death-squads, including the UDA, which Britain refused to proscribe, and thus remained 'legal' until the early 1990s. Before and throughout these years, hundreds of Catholic civilians were kidnapped and tortured in 'Romper Rooms'. or shot or hacked to death by 'counter-gangs' such as the 'Shankill Butchers', who employed implements used by the meat trade to dispatch captured civilians, some of whom were Protestants.

UN impose arms embargo on South Africa.

Brian Nelson has been a 'double-agent' for British Intelligence for a least a decade. He was transferred to a jail in England. After his release from jail he goes to work in Germany. He agreed to return after a request from his British Intelligence 'handlers', and he subsequently occupied the position of chief intelligence officer within the UDA hierarchy. He is thereby provided with intelligence files which are used in drawing up 'hit lists', and regularly advised by his 'handlers'.

Dick Wright visits Belfast. He is a former merchant-seaman and has adopted the role of intermediary between Orange death-squads and the South African racist regime. He is appointed an agent for Armscor, the state-owned arms company. He is also the uncle of Alan Wright, leader of the Ulster Clubs and co-founder of Ulster Resistance. DUP figures such as Peter Robinson, an MP within the British parliament, were publicly associated with the launch of both groups.

Loyalists secure funds by robbing three hundred thousand pounds from Northern Bank, Portadown. Half of this is ear-marked for South African arms purchases, with the proviso that South Africa will handle any order, if it is worth at least quarter of a million pounds. Key UDA leaders informed by Wright that the South African regime will accept missile parts or plans as an alternative to any cash short-fall. UDA/British Intelligence agent Nelson will join the crowds travelling from Belfast to London on the weekend of 7/8 June for the McGuigan/Pedroza boxing match en route to South Africa where he spends two weeks. He is the guest of Wright and Armscor. South African government indicates that for a complete Short's missile system they will supply a substantial shipment of arms in addition to one million pounds towards the loyalists' sectarian murder campaign.
This year marks the first decade of the UN arms embargo. However, Armscor becomes one of the world's top ten arms exporters with assistance from Israel which was also keen on obtaining updates on Belfast technology via Orange death-squad linkages. A US State Department report named Britain as violating the UN arms embargo.

Roy Metcalfe, a key figure in the communications network between UDA/UVF/Ulster Resistance, and Thomas Gibson, are assassinated by an IRA unit. All three groups prepare to share-out South African arms. Ulster Resistance claim that Metcalfe and Gibson were "set up" by British Intelligence. Nelson's position was still holding firm within the loyalists' network.

South African arms deal completed. British Military Intelligence are informed by Nelson on every development eg method of transportation, and delivery. No action is taken.
South African authorities decide that the arms will not be those manufactured in their country. Instead, concerned to conceal their origin, Czech-made weapons, initially used by the PLO in Lebanon and captured by the Israelis and sold to Armscor will be dispatched to Belfast. British Intelligence aware of the farmhouse where arms will be stored after landing.
During 1987 Ulster Resistance stole a Javelin missile aiming unit. A few hours before a fully operational Starsteak unit had been part of the same display.


Davy Payne, ex-British paratrooper and UDA brigadier stopped and arrested outside Portadown after RUC (police) discover part of the shipment destined for the UDA. The haul included 60 assault rifles, rockets and handguns. Payne had a telephone number written on his hand, it was that of Noel Lyttle, a civil servant and former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment of the British army. He was a close associate of Ian Paisley M.P., M.E.P. and Peter Robinson M.P., both leaders of the Ulster Democratic Party (D.U.P.) who sit at Westminster. Lyttle was questioned and released without charge.
The shipment included 200 AK-47 rifles, 90 Browning pistols, around 500 fragmentation grenades, 30,000 rounds of ammunition and a dozen RPG-7 rocket-launchers.
Two-thirds of the arms shipments had landed with the full knowledge of British Intelligence. The other third was seized at an RUC road block.

The Pretoria-Belfast link developed into a well-established two-way traffic. South Africa interested in obtaining documentation relating to Starstreak missile - the world's most advanced - developed by Shorts in Belfast. Plans existed to use such, or the Blowpipe variety, in Angola and Namibia.

Noel Lyttle, Samuel Quinn and James King arrested in Paris along with arms dealer Douglas Bernhardt and a South African diplomat, Daniel Storm. They were attempting to renegotiate with the South African regime. Lyttle stood for election to local government as a member of Paisley's DUP.
The trio was not only offering parts but Quinn, an NCO in the Ulster Air Defence Regiment, was on hand to offer expertise. He had trained recruits in the use of the Blowpipe missile, a dummy version of which, stolen from Newtownards, was offered to the South African agents. Quinn served in Newtownards.
Storm claimed diplomatic immunity and was duly expelled from France. Bernhardt, a US arms dealer, born in South Africa and married to an Englishwoman, had operated a firm called Field Arms for three years in London's Mayfair. It had received assistance from the Department of Employment.
No request by Britain was made for the extradition of the three. However, three of the personnel at the South African Embassy were expelled by Britain. One of them, Aden Fourie, described as the Embassy's "eyes and ears" had worked as a journalist in British-occupied Ireland during the 1970s.


Brian Nelson arrested as part of a major investigation into the blatant leaking of British Intelligence documents to loyalists. Many of these were bill-posted during the hours of darkness by loyalists in nationalist ghettos in a bid to intimidate residents. Such action was not ignored by the media, and public pressure led to the Stalker Inquiry which British Intelligence eventually managed to abort.

A senior judge and former Attorney-General for the unionist government at Stormont, Basil Kelly, handed down a minimum prison sentence to the British agent, Nelson. The DPP received a letter sent on behalf of the British Cabinet Minister, Tom King, to aid Nelson's defence team, in which King described him as "a valuable agent". Media and legal experts see King's move as part of a deal with Nelson not to spill the beans on all he knew of British Intelligence activities, including their controlling influences on the Orange death-squads.
Fifteen of the 35 charges against Nelson, including two charges of murder were dropped by the Crown Persecution. Those dropped were in return for entering guilty pleas on 20 lesser charges, five of which related to conspiracy to murder. Foreign media and human rights groups, as well as the 'Irish Lobby' in the USA, seem to have been factors which forced the political wing of the British Establishment to ultimately decide to act.
In 1985 the UDA and UVF killed between them only three people. In the five years following January 1988 more than 160 people were murdered by loyalists.
Brian Nelson will be released from an English jail in three to four years time.

* * * * *

Nelson's Trial

ON FEBRUARY 3, 1992 Brian Nelson received a minimum prison sentence. Justice Basil Kelly praised him from the bench as a man who had shown "the greatest of courage". Such clearly illustrated the blatant bias and anti-nationalist character of the Judiciary in the Six Counties.
The fact that scores of innocent civilians suffered torture and death as a direct result of his activities as a British agent was, as with many of the former charges against him, conveniently swept under the carpet. Such factors seemed to be of little concern to the no-jury court, as the pillars of the British establishment closed ranks and lined up in Nelson's defence.
Ten years was the ultimate sentence. With the usual 50% remission for 'scheduled offences' Nelson would be due for release, given good behaviour, within five years of sentencing. Many were outraged that figures such as British cabinet minister Tom King had come to his defence, writing from London to state he was "a valuable agent". The then British Attorney-General, Sir Patrick Mayhew, was part and parcel of the deal struck between Nelson, himself and the Six Counties' judiciary. A transfer to an English prison was one of its terms. Mayhew is currently Secretary of State in the Six Counties.
The comments made in his defence by high-profile figures would have caused an international scandal if the full facts had been properly investigated and exposed by the media. Nelson's past track record was well known to those who tried him, and this included the facts surrounding the torture and death of Gerald Higgins.
He was merely charged with false imprisonment and possession of a revolver, not with attempted murder. Therefore the deal struck then led to a sentence of only seven years. He had been working for British Intelligence at the time - a fact known only within a small 'Top Brass' military/judicial circle.
On his release Nelson returned to his role as an agent for British Intelligence and rejoined the UDA. He remained active until the mid-1980s, when he took up employment in Germany. The lines of communication, however, remained open between himself, his 'handlers' and the leadership of the sectarian death-squads.
In 1987 his 'handlers' instructed him to return to Belfast as they needed him within the UDA leadership. It should be noted that the UDA was still a legal organisation, even though it was responsible for hundreds of sectarian murders. It is believed that the 'Top Brass' did not declare it illegal simply because such would make all their covert activities also totally illegal, which might prove politically embarrassing and upset the bi-partisan arrangements with Westminster between the Tory and Labour parties. Such is the distorted mentality of Britain's ruling elites.
Nelson soon became the UDA's Director of Intelligence, needless to say a pivotal role for all concerned. He was, therefore, in control of selecting targets for loyalist death-squads. There is now little doubt that he was actively assisted by British Intelligence. These same 'handlers' were directly responsible for the subsequent re-organisation and re-arming of the UDA and other smaller loyalist death-squads. For that reason the Stalker Inquiry was doomed to failure from the start, as the 'Top Brass' could not afford his investigations to uncover the full truth. However, Stalker was to expose some of the darker aspects of Britain's 'Dirty War' in Ireland.
In the period since his return from Germany, Nelson and his 'handlers', stand accused of many serious crimes. These include:

1. Drawing up lists of people for assassination.

2. Arranging a huge arms shipment from South Africa with the specific intention of creating maximum terror within the nationalist population and eliminating its elected (or non-elected) Republican representatives or other articulate minority spokespersons.
3. The shooting dead of the human rights' lawyer Pat Finucane and for the targeting of another solicitor, Paddy McGrory. The latter had dared to face the SAS at the Gibraltar inquest. Members of the media were subjected to threats also.

4. Planning the bombing of the huge Whitegate Oil Refinery in Cork Harbour.

5. Handing over official British army/RUC files to loyalist death-squads, in the full knowledge that the majority were non-combatants, ie nationalist civilians.

6. Impeding the Stevens Inquiry by delaying for several months the handover of 1,000 Crown Forces' photo montages which Nelson had in his possession as the UDA's Director of Intelligence. The Inquiry was headed by John Stevens, a senior British police officer, who followed in the footsteps of John Stalker of the Greater Manchester police. Stalker later wrote a book on his Northern experiences, which became a best-seller.

7. An escalation of the loyalist sectarian murder campaign which included attacks at the funeral of the three Gibraltar victims of an SAS 'shoot-to-kill' operation: the Ormeau and Oldpark bookmakers' shop attacks and many other incidents, which have been catalogued by other researchers.

8. That an official conspiracy existed cannot be denied. At Nelson's trial a "character witness", a Military Intelligence colonel referred to as "J", stated that he was the commander between 1986 and 1989 directly responsible for Nelson. "J" provided monthly briefings to the British Army's General Officer Commanding (G.O.C.) in the Six Counties and other senior officers. There were implications that the Secretary of State might also have obtained such "briefings".

9. This conspiracy reveals clearly the extent to which Britain rearmed the loyalist death-squads and to what covert lengths the 'Top Brass' would go in order to advance the political objectives of their paymasters in government. To date these official war-crimes have not been fully exposed, mainly due to successful attempts by the British Intelligence Services to undermine the Stalker and Stevens Inquiries.

This correspondent is convinced that the Nelson case is but the tip of the iceberg of British covert operations in both parts of Ireland. One should never forget that these operations claimed the lives of hundreds of Irish citizens. 33 civilians lost their lives in the Monaghan-Dublin bombings of 1974 and many more were injured.
It must be stressed, over and over again, that there is no evidence to suggest that such official control is still not being exercised over the loyalist death-squads or that the recent cease-fire announcement has not been directly influenced by the British government. Undoubtedly a deadly, manipulative and controlling influence was present throughout most of the "Troubles".

* * * * * *

Web of Intrigue

IT WAS only after Nelson was sentenced that the full extent of the web of intrigue began to emerge. Such raises more questions, but only a few answers were to emerge. One can, however, speculate in a bid to arrive at some reasoned conclusions, about this whole affair.
Above all there is an urgent need for a truly international inquiry on all these issues, as the British could never be trusted to fully investigate and expose their own ruling political-cum-military elites. While the relatives of upwards of 1,000 victims of British / loyalist collusion can demand much more, they can accept nothing less.
Once jailed Nelson began to write up a 'Jail Journal'. In it he reveals some details about his double-life as the UDA's Director of Intelligence and the twilight world of a secret service agent. In a gambler-like fashion, at some stage, he obviously decided to use this Jail Journal as a bargaining chip. To some seasoned observers in the British media, NIO officials did not come across very convincingly while trying to present such deliberate literary endeavours as some type of harmless, illogical or mysterious game being played with the British authorities.

Nelson's drip, drip, of 'leaks' to his solicitor and a few key media personnel, must have had great blackmailing potential on the authorities, and no doubt several responses of benefit to himself. Possibly, he gained much more than we will ever know !
We are, however, already aware of how key figures in the British Establishment leaped to the defence at his trial, which at the very least suggests that his blackmailing gamble indeed paid off. These selective leaks came before his trial and ended up in the hands of Alasdair Frazer, the Six-County Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). These extracts were written while being held in a special protected unit at Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast, during 1991.
Despite the fact that Nelson incriminated himself in regard to several sectarian murders, conspiracies to murder, and also attempted murders, the extracts were sent to the DPP by Nelson's own solicitor.

Stevens Inquiry
The result was the Stevens Inquiry Mark Two and much embarrassment within the military, police and legal system. Was their valued agent audaciously threatening to turn sour and spill all the beans ?
Why on earth would Nelson's lawyer, Erny Telford - presumably with his client's approval - want to draw the DPP's attention to more of Nelson's covert sectarian activities ?
Some legal experts and members of the media, who followed this case closely, believe that the answer may be that Nelson's lawyer felt he had a duty to act as he did because the Journal does shed light on the extent of Military Intelligence's knowledge of some of the most controversial and unresolved incidents linked to the "Troubles". Up the Falls Road and along the Bogside, that means one word - Collusion.

Nelson had a lot of information with which he could blackmail the authorities e.g. the South African arms shipment in 1988; the murder of a man called 'Terry' McDaid, also in 1988; and the state-sponsored elimination of defence lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989. His journal covered the period from 1985 to when he was arrested in January 1990. That period marked many high-points in British-loyalist collusion.
Basically, it would appear that by using his journal, the former puppet was endeavouring to become a puppeteer. He was a puppet while in the role of the UDA's trigger-man because he was manipulated to finger 'Republican' suspects after being fed the information from his handlers, who controlled the strings.
The majority of the UDA's targets were nationalist civilians, which those feeding the information were fully aware of, and seeming approved. Using the tag 'Republican' must therefore have been shorthand for 'kill any nationalist' - at least that was the end result for many unfortunate Catholic civilians, with blatant disregard for either sex or age, as an entire family was often targeted.
Nelson's 'Jail Journal' ran to 100,000 words, which would equal 200 A4 typed sheets; a virtual book of evidence against the British authorities and their allies within the RUC. One pro-government hack played down its significance by describing it thus : "penned in his spidery hand, it is crushingly dull". Not too dull if you really wanted to get at the truth and expose literally hundreds of serial killings, which several 'Ulster-Watchers' allege had been sanctioned at the highest levels. As to the nature of the handwriting, such would have been a minor detail, to any genuine investigative journalist, knowing the background circumstances.
Yet, by instructing his lawyer to feed these selected pieces to the DPP Nelson must have thought he had nothing to lose and no doubt everything to play for. His end game was his actual trial. He obviously wanted the British Establishment's pipers to play and dance to his tune.
In their statements to the Stevens Inquiry Nelson's handlers tried to justify their supposed loss of control over their agent by arguing that he was " difficult to run and habitually ignored advice". They would say that, wouldn't they ?
But the 'Jail Journal' writer tells a very different story. He insists that not only did his handlers approve of practically every step he took, they sometimes actively encouraged him to do even more !

The Journal does have a ring of truth about it. Nelson was the mere tail of the dog that wagged when the head of the creature decided that it should do so. That creature was British Intelligence. Its own masters resided in Whitehall, and they could have jerked the lead at any juncture.
We can therefore assume that Nelson, when exposed and captured, must have felt like a caged animal, let down by Whitehall. Would it be reasonable to further assume that what he sent to the DPP contained admissions and accusations that were not in Nelson's lengthy statement to the original Stevens Inquiry ?
Such might force one to point a finger at the DPP and ask why has all this not been made public since. After all, he is believed to be a servant of the public, rather than, of the various elites within the British Establishment.
One must, however, say that while many seasoned observers believe that they have not had all the truth as yet, the DPP did go to the trouble and expense of calling back John Stevens, who became Chief Constable for Northhumbria, after Nelson's trial. But then, who would dare ask the question, "Did Stevens reveal the full truth ? As doubt persists, only an international inquiry offers any hope to relatives, and the wider concerned community.
Did Stevens meet a wall of silence similar to that which met John Stalker ? Did he arrive with good intentions to find the local military and police establishment turning their noses up at him ?
The eternally-partisan, and arrogant, Orange Tories in the Unionist Party certainly felt that he was meddling in matters he did not, and never could, understand. Such says more about the blinkered position of Unionism than anything else. To Republicans in general his inquiry was seen as merely another Establishment fudge, and who, now, could fault them ?
However, from the evidence at hand it would seem that Stevens delved deeper - and to greater effect - into Britain's secret 'Dirty War' than any previous inquiry, including Stalker's. He was a tougher and more dogged type of individual than Stalker, by all accounts.
One should remember, however, and ponder further upon the fact that Stalker was unjustly blackened by British Intelligence as part of a successful bid to cut short or abort his investigation, whereas Stevens seemed to have been allowed to complete his dutiful task and was subsequently promoted after his team returned to England.

MI5 Puppets
The Stevens team did confront the Intelligence Establishment. Detective Chief Superintendent Vincent McFadden annoyed the 'top brass' who felt he was moving into territory so secret that he should be stopped. The team soon discovered that Nelson was not the only tail that was being wagged. Stevens is reported to have asked, "What if I turn sour ?" when he was coming under intense pressure to soft-pedal against other unmasked agents who were still 'running' and thus, still useful to British strategy in Ireland. How many of these, former low-profile operatives, are now 'sound-bite' politicians ? That seems an obvious and interesting question, but, nowadays, it's in poor taste to ask. No doubt we will discover the answer in the fullness of time !
In retrospect, some claim that Stevens did not 'turn sour' on that Establishment in the end, and a few might dare to allege that he, wittingly or unwittingly, became part of the cover-up he was actually called across the Irish Sea to uncover. Would the tactics used against Stalker, and that man's fate, have been part of the consciousness of his replacement ? Only Stevens and a few of the 'top brass' can distinguish fact from fiction in that regard, as we are looking into rather dangerous and murky waters. For the Establishment 'turning sour' means possibly publishing a book, exactly what John Stalker went on to accomplish after his ordeal among the natives, and their imported overlords, and local humble servants of the Crown, at recognised and 'unofficial' levels.
A strange twist in the overall saga is that Stalker turned out to be a Catholic, a fact then known to the wielders of power, which could only have sent shock-waves through their respective corridors of power. Their initial non-cooperation and hostility, in retrospect, can be appreciated, knowing how such a fact measures on the pro-Union Richter - scale. To what extent, however, was the full truth, and Stalker's own analysis, limited by the sanction of Britain's outmoded Official Secrets Act ?
One leading journalist, John Ware of the BBC Panorama programme had a number of interesting points to make. He was on the ground and took a keen interest in all related developments. His comments expose a rather cosy and financially rewarding relationship, when he wrote: "The fact is that half of the UDA Inner Council who have been involved in collusion had also been informers or agents for MI5 and the RUC's Special Branch".
There are many interesting aspects to Nelson's journal. One in particular notes that his handlers encouraged him to become an agent provocateur by recommending the UDA bomb the 'Irish Republic'. Nelson wrote: "After the debrief proper finished the 'Boss' was chatting to me about the UDA and the personalities at the top of the organisation when he said to me that the UDA should think about undertaking an economic bombing campaign down South, across the border...[it] would cause Eire to rethink on their extradition policy".
Nelson even went on to write of a third handler, a woman sergeant, who encouraged him to intimidate Crown witnesses who were to give evidence in a UDA extortion trial.
He also related that he was allowed to help plan armed robberies and gave examples of specific operations in the autumn of 1987. Police uniforms were provided and he was instructed that the men chosen "should look the part as well as the car". He continued: "I could foresee no problem of their getting in and out. To this day I don't know how much was netted from that robbery and on questioning my handlers was led to believe that no action was taken in order to protect my cover".

As the Stevens Inquiry developed, the DPP became increasingly frustrated at attempts by some of Nelson's handlers and certain Military Intelligence officers to cover up his activities. Some well-placed BBC journalists reported that the DPP seriously considered prosecuting at least one handler, the woman sergeant.
The problem seems to have been that the main evidence against her would have had to come from Nelson. This would have opened an even bigger can of worms. In the end no charges were pressed, the same sources claimed.
If we are to believe certain sources within the BBC itself, the DPP (as of August 1993) had the reputation as a man of fiercely independent mind. By all accounts he was appalled by the attitude of some sections of the British army to the law of the land and that, given the chance, he was determined to remind them that they were not above the law.
The fact is that in literally tens of thousands of instances since 1969 they do, indeed, appear to be above the law. One has only to consult the writings of various human rights activists and international agencies to present a strong case that they were given an amnesty in advance, the very instant they adorned a uniform, or took up duties. Many publications have been produced down the years which might leave one, even a DPP, or the most sceptical amongst us, in little doubt as to their legal status as state-sponsored operatives.
The DPP, we are told, may have felt the approaches, from Nelson's solicitor, offered some chance of dragging these alleged culprits before the bench. However, subsequent events revealed that Nelson was not prepared to go beyond his original statement and provide evidence of unlawful conduct. "What is in it for me ?" was no doubt his reaction to the DPP. "What was in it for the career of the DPP ?" is a rather more vexed question that deserves much thought, and is much more interesting to contemplate.
While in Bristol jail Nelson met Stevens, but again, in the period since 1993 he did not provide sufficient evidence for prosecuting his handlers. All this may seem complicated, and it is ! But things start to fall into place when one realises that Nelson was then, and no doubt still is, an agent, and that he relies on the British secret service to provide for his family and that when he is released he will need their help to settle down. He will surely not bite the hand that has fed him for so long.
'Joe Public' has glimpsed but a fraction of this squalid episode. During 1993 the British Establishment was again confident enough to start to bite back. One could judge the mood by threats of prosecution from the Treasury Solicitor, guardian of the supposedly reformed Official Secrets Act. It was clear that the British government had no intention of allowing any more to leak out.

This is why justice demands an international inquiry now!

Series, published November 1994.

Recommended Reading:
Stalker by John Stalker and the works of the Belfast journalist Martin Dillon - Political Murder in Northern Ireland: The Shankill Butchers - A Case Study of Mass Murder: The Dirty War: Stone Cold (Hutchinson, Random Century Ltd., 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA).
(a) The loyalist Shankill Butchers gang, several of whom were never apprehended, committed acts of almost unspeakable sadism in the course of a three-year slaughter which took the lives of at least 19 people between 1975 and 1977. The Irish News of Oct. 28 1996, p3, reporting on the release of one of its prime figures, Bobby 'Basher' Bates, commented:
"Under the leadership of Lenny Murphy, the 11-man gang killed their hapless victims with axes, sliced their throats to the spine with razor-sharp butchers' knives and dumped their blood-soaked bodies in alleys and on waste ground.
"They were caught only after mistakenly leaving one of their victims for dead with 10-inch gashes on each wrist. But 20-year-old Gerard McLaverty lived to tell RUC Detective Inspector Jimmy Nesbitt of his experiences. He joined the policeman on a tour of the Shankill and recognised various members of the gang. One by one the butchers were arrested".
(b) The Sunday Life newspaper, based in Belfast, on August 11, 1996 carried the following report on page 13, under the headline "UDA mole freed from English jail" :
An army spy whose terrorist activities inside the UDA led to a review of procedures on handling informers has been freed from jail in England.

Brian Nelson, from north Belfast, was released after serving six years of a 10-year sentence. Nelson, now 48, was secretly switched to an English prison in December 1992 after spending two years in an isolated cell in Belfast's Crumlin Road jail for his own safety.

Nelson was jailed for 10 years in June 1992 after pleading guilty to five charges of conspiracy to murder. Among his intended victims was leading Sinn Fein councillor Alex Maskey.
Nelson also admitted 14 counts of having information useful to terrorists. Charges of murdering two men, Terence McDaid and Gerard Slane, were dropped.
The Nelson case led to demands for a public inquiry into the handling of intelligence agents inside paramilitary organisations.
SDLP deputy leaders Seamus Mallon claimed Nelson's Army handler was allowed to remain above the law and should have been investigated by police.
The Army officer - known only as "Colonel J" told Nelson's trial before Lord Justice Kelly that the agent had provided intelligence that may have saved more than 200 lives.
Mr Mallon claimed that Nelson was moved to jail in England in order to facilitate his early release. In an unusual move responsibility for Nelson was transferred from the Northern Ireland Office to the Home Office prisons section in London.
Confirming his release on parole last February from an undisclosed English jail, a Prison Service spokesman said Nelson had received the normal one-third remission.
Both Nelson's parents are dead. But a close relative said they had had no contact with him and were unaware of his release.

c) According to An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-93, p206, British-backed loyalist paramilitaries were responsible for a total of 911 killings.

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