In this sensational exposÃ© of British Intelligence’s top informer in the upper ranks of the IRA, Richard O’Rawe delivers the most definitive account yet of the Troubles’ most enigmatic, notorious and sinister figure, Freddie Scappaticci.
Codenamed Stakeknife, from the late 1970s through to his eventual exposure in 2003 he was the ‘jewel in the crown’ of a British infiltration system designed to cause mayhem and chaos in the IRA’s military operations. O’Rawe gained unprecedented access to Scappaticci’s former comrades, who reveal extraordinary details of the inner workings of the IRA’s Internal Security Unit. Headed by Scappaticci, this secretive group was known locally as the ‘Nutting Squad’ owing to its fearsome reputation for the abduction, interrogation, torture and execution of volunteers suspected of working for the British or the RUC. The political scandal at the heart of this story is that Scappaticci’s intelligence handlers were aware of almost every abduction and execution he carried out prior to it taking place; a scandal that became the subject of the British government sponsored inquiry, Operation Kenova.
In this compelling and extraordinary story of state-sanctioned murder and extreme moral ambiguity in the overriding quest for the protection of ‘national security’, the truth is truly stranger than fiction.