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MI5 under scrutiny, not for the first time

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 12 February 2010

As MI5 chief Jonathan Evans denies a cover-up over Binyam Mohamed's alleged torture, Channel 4 News looks back on another case that raised questions about the conduct of Britain's intelligence services.

MI5 secret agent Kevin Fulton spoke to Channel 4 News in 2007.

In July 2007, Channel 4 News reporter Nina Teggarty wrote about the increasing cases of British terrorism and collusion being brought before Northern Ireland's police ombudsman. Below is her full report. The accompanying video was first broadcast on More4 News.

Colleen McMurray was killed in 1992 by an IRA bomb in Newry, a town in County Down and her colleague Paul Slaine, sitting beside her that night in the police car- lost his legs.

He was later seen by millions around the world receiving the George Cross from the Queen on behalf of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Colleen McMurray's death is one in a very long list of victims of Northern Ireland's conflict - at the time, this was Britain's war against terrorism.

But now, her murder is one of a series of new, extraordinary cases being brought before the attention of Northern Ireland's police ombudsman.

Set up after the Good Friday agreement to look into cases of alleged collusion between security forces and paramilitaries, the police ombudsman has been inundated with new cases, cases which, like McMurray's death- raise important questions about how British institutions are fighting the new war against terrorism.

For many years Kevin Fulton played a dangerous double game - a secret agent for MI5, working inside the Provisional IRA. He now lives in hiding and has decided to talk about his experiences because he feels let down by the British state.

He said: "I was told I had the full blessing of the prime minister, the PM was seeing the briefings on myself and the intelligence that was gathered- I had to become a terrorist. I had to do the things they were doing and reporting this back to my handlers. Sometimes people were caught and jailed, and sometimes people lost their lives."

Fulton says that he told MI5, via his handler, that the attack in Newry in which Colleen McMurray died, was going to happen.

And he says he also passed on details of the bomb's design and the name of the bomb maker. The implication is clear - MI5 officers did nothing to prevent the attack.

Channel 4 News has spoken to other people who worked in intelligence in Northern Ireland at the time who say they have no reason to disbelieve Fulton's allegation.

Kevin Fulton also says that his MI5 handler "Bob" was enthusiastic that he conduct himself as an active IRA terrorist - even to the extent of providing the IRA with sophisticated weaponry.

For three years, the Northern Ireland police ombudsman's office have been investigating Colleen McMurray's death- their final report is due this month or next.

We have learned that the ombudsman will also be looking into phone calls made to Newry police station on the day of the attack that bear out Fulton's allegations.

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