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17 June 1999 Edition

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Recruitment attempt in England

BY MARTIN SPAIN

A West of Ireland man who has spent many years in England has complained to An Phoblacht of a recent approach by British Intelligence, the second such recruitment attempt in 18 months.

The first such overture took place when he was arrested at Luton Airport on his way to his son's birthday party on 10 January, 1998, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. He was questioned as to his destination before a man came in who identified himself as a member of British Intelligence: ``He said he wanted me to work for them, saying I could meet him every time I came to England. When I refused to cooperate, I was taken to Charing Cross holding centre where I was stripped and forced to the ground for an anal exam. After two days, I was released without charge, having missed my son's birthday.''

``About a month later, all my friends in Luton and throughout England were arrested and questioned about me. One of them was asked to work for British Intelligence. My son's mother, who is English, and her daughter were visited by British Intelligence and left in a very distressed state. Because of the things they said to them about me I had to get Gareth Peirce to ring her and let her know that there was no truth in what they said to her.''

On the most recent occasion, Thursday 3 June, the man was again visiting his son. He borrowed a car in Luton to drive overnight to Cornwall. ``I pulled into a remote service station to get petrol at 3.30am,'' he said. ``I was filling the tank when a man approached me. He introduced himself as Paul and said he was from British Intelligence. He said he wanted to speak to me. When I refused and got into my car to leave, two cars blocked my exit. The one calling himself Paul got out of one car and started to talk at me through the windscreen. This went on for around 10 to 15 minutes, then they let me out on the road, one car in front of me and the other in the outside lane for about 20 miles. It was very frightening.''
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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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