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IRA Vet Appears in Belfast, Denies Collusion Allegations

The Irish Republican Army veteran accused of being Britain’s top agent inside the outlawed group denied the allegations Wednesday in a surprise public appearance. Freddie Scappaticci, 59, sat beside his lawyer and read a statement denying he was the agent code-named “Stakeknife.” His appearance – four days after he disappeared from his home in Catholic west Belfast – was a dramatic refutation of British and Irish media reports claiming he had been evacuated to a military base in England to prevent his assassination by enraged IRA comrades. “I am telling you that I am not guilty of any of these allegations,” said Scappaticci, who was identified by major newspapers throughout Britain and Ireland as the IRA’s longtime director of internal security in charge of vetting new members and rooting out traitors. The allegations suggested that throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s the British army’s intelligence-gathering arm, the Force Research Unit, maintained an agent in the heart of IRA decision-making who passed on details of new members and forthcoming attacks. Full Story

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