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Thatcher 'gave go-ahead for IRA assassinations'

Sunday Herald, The ,  Jun 23, 2002   by Neil Mackay

MRS Thatcher gave the go-ahead for British security forces to collude with paramilitary gangs in Northern Ireland in a decade-long assassination campaign which claimed the lives of known terrorists, civilians and members of the security forces, according to a former British soldier who infiltrated the IRA for military intelligence.

Kevin Fulton says he helped carry out a series of terrorist crimes, some of which resulted in murder, and was told by his army handlers in 1980: "There'll be no medals for this, and no recognition, but this goes the whole way to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister knows what you are doing."

Kevin Fulton was "handled" by officers from the Force Research Unit, the army's most secretive intelligence agency.

A two-part BBC Panorama programme into the FRU, which concludes tonight and is based partly on Sunday Herald investigations, has prompted a vow from Tony Blair to uncover the truth behind one of the most serious allegations against the FRU - that it conspired in the murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane by loyalist hitmen.

A spokesman for Thatcher said she would not comment.