By Anne Cadwallader
BELFAST — RUC Special Branch officers and British military intelligence used the UDA as an assassination squad to murder people suspected of republican activity, according to a BBC documentary on collusion.
“License to Murder,” a two-part program said to be based on 10 years of research by a BBC team of reporters, at least partially lifted the lid on one of the darkest corners of the violence of the last 35 years in Northern Ireland.
It has resulted in growing pressure for a full public inquiry into the story of how the British state allegedly corrupted its own laws and used its own “security services” to murder dozens of its own citizens.
The program has been seen by many nationalists as proof that either the British cabinet of the day, led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, knew of the existence of collusion, or it was deceived by senior civil servants and security advisers.
It also highlighted the alleged connivance of the British civilian undercover intelligence-gathering agency, MI5, which is now tipped to take over surveillance work in Northern Ireland, if the Special Branch is disbanded or merged with the police Criminal Investigation Department.
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Among the claims the program makes are: