Infiltrators & Informers

Police

Bob Lambert / Robinson

by on Mar.01, 2012, under Police

Bob Lambert aka “Bob Robinson”

Articles on this page

  1. London Greenpeace Press Release outing Bob Lambert as police spy
  2. Text of London Greenpeace leaflet
  3. Two Guardian articles
  4. London Greenpeace response to Lambert’s apology
  5. Robert Lambert today

Bob Lambert / “Robinson”


15th October 2011 – PRESS RELEASE

UNDERCOVER POLICE AGENT PUBLICLY OUTED AT CONFERENCE
Campaigners today outed the most-senior-yet police spy responsible for infiltrating environmental and social justice campaigns.

Former Detective Inspector Bob Lambert MBE had just spoken at a ‘One Society, Many Cultures’ anti-racist conference on Saturday 15th October attended by 300 delegates at the Trades Union Congress HQ in Central London. He was then publicly challenged by 5 members of London Greenpeace who knew him at the time and who called on him to apologise for the undercover police infiltration of London Greenpeace, Reclaim The Streets and other campaign groups – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades, whilst rising to the rank of Detective Inspector.

Bob ‘Robinson’ (as Bob Lambert called himself at the time) was a spy in London Greenpeace from 1984 to 1988, and he went on to supervise other agents who continued with infiltration of groups such as London Greenpeace and Reclaim the Streets, along with anti fascist protests, and actions against genetically modified crops. These agents used pseudonyms, and engaged in fraudulent and deceitful long-term intimate relationships with people in the groups before disappearing without trace – a stasi-like tactic involving a gross abuse of trust which has caused great emotional damage to a number of people involved.

As he left the venue Bob Lambert was followed along the street and was challenged again to apologise, but he briskly walked away refusing to talk.

‘By publicly exposing this latest scandal, campaigners have demonstrated that the recent police spies outed (such as Mark Kennedy / Mark Stone) were not ‘rogue officers’, but part of an unacceptable pattern of immoral infiltration of environmental groups, condoned at a high level. We demand action to ensure that the full truth is revealed and that justice is done.’   – Spokesperson, London Greenpeace

Note 1: The HMIC report on previously exposed police infiltration is due to be published in the coming week.
Note 2: The full text from the leaflet distributed at the conference is below.
Note 3: A copy of the complete leaflet, with photos, is available on Indymedia (see <http://www.indymedia.org.uk/media/2011/10//486878.odt>www.indymedia.org.uk/media/2011/10//486878.odt ). The 2 photos in the leaflet from 1984 are copyright London Greenpeace; news outlets are free to use them with credit.


Stop police infiltration of campaign groups!

Text of London Greenpeace leaflet

We are not here to disrupt this important conference but feel it is important that those listening should know:

The truth about Bob Lambert and his Special Branch role
- and that at minimum Bob should give a public apology for his past actions

Look up Bob on the internet and you’ll find any number of references to his career as a Special Branch officer until his retirement as Detective Inspector in 2007. Here’s one example – Bob worked continuously as a Special Branch specialist counter-terrorist / counter-extremist intelligence officer from 1980, which involved dealing with all forms of violent political threats to the UK, from Irish republican to the many strands of International terrorism.

Disgusting, immoral and damaging

What the reports don’t tell you is that a substantial amount of his work involved the infiltration of groups which were actually opposing violence and oppression inflicted on a daily basis by governments and corporations around the world. He and other agents he supervised infiltrated environmental, anti-capitalist and anti war organisations over two decades. And as part of these undercover operations those agents, including Bob, had long term and sexual relationships with campaigners and friends in the most abusive breach of trust imaginable. This abuse has had a severe and lasting emotional impact on those affected.

For a period of about 5 years up to 1988, Bob infiltrated meetings and events of London Greenpeace, a well respected organisation which campaigned against nuclear power and war, and on other environmental and social justice issues. Bob was also actively involved with many other protest activities including at Molesworth Peace Camp, free festivals, and animal rights activities and was even prosecuted at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court for distributing ‘insulting’ leaflets outside a butchers shop.

Bob also went on to supervise others agents who continued with infiltration of groups such as London Greenpeace and Reclaim the Streets, along with anti fascist protests and actions against genetically modified crops. It is clear that these were not ‘anti terrorist’ operations, but were in fact state intervention aimed at disrupting and weakening the growing opposition to the domination of our society by the interests of multinational corporations and their pursuit of profits.

It is difficult to take anything Bob says at face value unless he is prepared to come clean about his past and apologise for the harm done.

stopinfiltration~[at]~mail.com

 


Progressive academic Bob Lambert is former police spy
Lambert, an expert on Islamophobia, posed as environmental activist then ran police spy unit that infiltrated anti-racist groups
Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, The Guardian, 17 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/16/academic-bob-lambert-former-police-spy

Bob Lambert, right, posed as an activist with the environmental group Greenpeace London while working undercover as a police officer.

An academic and prominent supporter of progressive causes has been unmasked as a former spy who controlled a network of undercover police officers in political groups.

During his current career as an academic expert on Islamophobia, Bob Lambert has regularly spoken at political rallies to promote campaigns against racism and fascism.

However, in his previous career as a special branch officer, which lasted 26 years, he ran operations at a covert unit that placed police spies into political campaigns, including those run by anti-racism groups. The unit also disrupted the activities of these groups.

Lambert became head of the unit after going undercover himself.

Since becoming an academic three years ago, he has made no secret of the fact he was a special branch detective between 1980 and 2006, working on what he describes as “countering threats of terrorism and political violence in Britain”.

However, he has kept quiet about his undercover work.

Lambert, who was involved in the secret unit for around 10 years, becomes the seventh police officer to be exposed as a police spy in the protest movement.

The disclosure comes before a major review of the use of such methods is published on Thursday. The report by Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new commissioner of the Metropolitan police, was commissioned by police chiefs after a series of revelations about Mark Kennedy, the officer who spent seven years embedded in the environmental movement.

Lambert was confronted about his past by a group he once infiltrated, while at a conference on Saturday. In one of many appearances on political platforms, he was a speaker at the conference, organised by Unite Against Fascism to promote anti-racism and multiculturalism. Last week he urged people to attend the conference to “show a united front against hatred and bigotry and celebrate the diversity of our multicultural communities”.

Using the alias “Bob Robinson”, Lambert posed as an activist in the group London Greenpeace between 1984 and 1988, say other members. The group, which had a libertarian philosophy, campaigned against nuclear power and weapons, as well as on other environmental issues, and says “Robinson” attended protests and meetings. It is understood that he also infiltrated animal rights protests.

On Saturday, members of the group pressed him to apologise for long-standing infiltration of political campaigns. He refused to comment, according to them.

At the time, he was acting as a member of a secretive police unit, the Special Demonstration Squad, which embedded undercover officers into groups it believed posed a threat to public order.

During the late 1990s, Lambert took charge of operations for the SDS, which penetrated both left and rightwing campaigns.

He was responsible for undercover police officers such as Pete Black, who spent four years pretending to be an anti-racism activist, and Jim Boyling, who was embedded in an environmental campaign against cars, Reclaim the Streets.

Between 2002 and 2007, Lambert ran the Muslim Contact Unit, a Scotland Yard department which sought to foster partnerships between police and Muslim community groups to prevent Islamist terrorist attacks.

In recent years Lambert has had a high public profile. A lecturer at Exeter and St Andrews universities, he has produced academic papers and articles for the media, including the Guardian and the New Statesman as he continued to argue that the government and police should work with Muslim groups to prevent terrorism.

However he has attracted virulent criticism from rightwing commentators who argue for a tougher approach. They believe it is counter-productive for the police to work in partnership with Muslim groups they claim are extremists.

London Greenpeace said it confronted Lambert to show “that recent police spies outed (such as Mark Kennedy) were not ‘rogue officers’ but part of an unacceptable pattern of immoral infiltration of environmental groups, condoned at a high level”. Lambert could not be reached for comment yesterday.

 


Police spy tricked lover with activist ‘cover story’
Paul Lewis and Rob Evans, The Guardian, Sunday 23 October 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/23/police-spy-tricked-lover-activist?newsfeed=true

Bob Lambert used false identity in 1980s to infiltrate protest movements while working for Metropolitan police special branch

A former police spymaster who spent years living deep undercover in the protest movement has confessed he tricked an innocent woman into having a long-term relationship with him, as part of an elaborate attempt to lend “credibility” to his alter ego.

Bob Lambert, who adopted a false identity to infiltrate leftwing and animal rights groups, said he had the 18-month relationship with the woman, who was not herself involved in political activism, as part of his cover story.

The Guardian has detailed the cases of seven undercover police officers known to have infiltrated protest movements, mostly in the past decade. Of those, five have had sexual relationships with women who were oblivious to their real identities.

Lambert, who became an academic after a 26-year career in the special branch of the Metropolitan police, made the admission after the Guardian contacted him about their relationship.

In a statement, he offered an “unreserved apology” to the woman, who does not want her identity to be revealed, and said he was also sorry for deceiving “law-abiding members of London Greenpeace,” a peaceful protest group.

His former partner, who recently discovered the long-haired political activist she had the relationship with in the 1980s was actually an undercover police officer, said she felt “violated” by the experience.

“I was cruelly tricked and it has made me very angry,” the woman said. “I am actually quite damaged by the whole thing. I am still not over it.”

Police chiefs have claimed that officers who spy on protesters are not permitted “under any circumstances” to sleep with activists. But police spies are known to have been having relationships with activists as recently as last year, as part of a secret police operation to monitor political activists that has been in place since the late 1960s.

In most cases, the police officers developed long-term relationships and their subsequent disappearance left women feeling traumatised and angry.

They include Mark Kennedy, who spent seven years living undercover in Nottingham as environmental campaigner “Mark Stone”.

Another undercover police officer, Peter Black, said sex was a widely used “tool” to gain the trust of activists when he was deployed in the 1990s.

The woman duped by Lambert said their relationship came to an end more than 20 years ago after the man she knew as “Bob Robinson” vanished from her life, claiming to be in hiding from special branch. Lambert was, in fact, a special branch detective and would go on to rise through the ranks of the covert unit to a position in which he managed the deployments of several other spies.

Lambert is currently subject to a Metropolitan police review into whether he was prosecuted in a court using his false identity. The force is considering whether to refer his case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

On Friday, the Met referred the case of another undercover officer, Jim Boyling, to the IPCC, after evidence emerged that he posed as a defendant using his false identity in another court case.

After living undercover himself, Lambert went on to manage Boyling, who infiltrated environmental campaign groups and ended up marrying an activist he was sent to spy on and fathering two children with her.

Lambert and Boyling later worked for the Met’s Muslim contact unit, which was created to improve relations with Muslims after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Now an outspoken critic of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, Lambert has strongly denied the suggestion that the unit he set up was involved in surveillance of the Muslim community.

Lambert said his undercover role in the 1980s was part of a secret infiltration of the Animal Liberation Front, which was involved in a fire-bombing campaign at the time.

“As part of my cover story, so as to gain the necessary credibility to become involved in serious crime, I first built a reputation as a committed member of London Greenpeace, a peaceful campaigning group,” he said in a statement to fellow anti-Islamophobia campaigners at the Spinwatch transparency campaign.

“I apologise unreservedly for the deception I therefore practiced on law abiding members of London Greenpeace.

“I also apologise unreservedly for forming false friendships with law abiding citizens and in particular forming a long-term relationship with [the woman] who had every reason to think I was a committed animal rights activist and a genuine London Greenpeace campaigner.”

It is not clear why Lambert chose the woman as part of his cover story.

He added: “I should point out here that the vast majority of Met special branch undercover officers never made the mistakes I made, have no need to apologise for anything, and I deeply regret having tarnished their illustrious, professional reputation.”

Lambert could be questioned by officials from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, which is conducting a review into undercover policing of protest.

The review – one of nine disciplinary and judicial inquiries into the controversy in undercover policing – was initially conducted by Bernard Hogan-Howe before he took his post as Met commissioner.

The planned publication of his report, which had been expected to reject calls for more robust oversight of the use of undercover police officers, was abandoned on Wednesday, hours after the Guardian and BBC Newsnight revealed evidence undercover officers may have been lying in court.

 


London Greenpeace Statement in Response to Spymaster’s Apology
24.10.2011

The police spy we outed last week has now been forced to apologise for infiltrating our group 25 years ago. He admits that London Greenpeace was a peaceful campaigning group.

Indeed in the mid-80s, along with our usual environmental campaigning, we supported widespread grass roots opposition to a whole range of state-sanctioned and corporate violence. This included the peace blockades of UK missile bases to try to prevent the siting of weapons of mass destruction; the industrial strikes in response to Thatcher’s war against trade union rights; and the popular movement challenging profit-driven cruelty to millions of animals in factory farms and laboratories. Our own group’s particular contribution at this time was to try to show the links between various issues and struggles by firstly launching a series of anti-capitalist protests in the City of London, and then by campaigning against multinational corporations like McDonald’s. These are the politics which upset the Special Branch, the Government’s political police.

As with now, Government policies sought to promote corporate interests over the needs of the rest of the population.  The police, especially the Met, increasingly employed underhand and violent tactics to implement those policies and were often dubbed ‘Thatcher’s Boot Boys’.  Any spies looking for the architects of political violence should have fingered those in office in Downing Street and Scotland Yard.

In the decades since, the powers-that-be have unfortunately been allowed to continue to pursue their destructive policies, leading to the current economic and environmental crises engulfing the whole planet. The good news is that repressive tactics by police and governments in the UK, middle east or anywhere else will ultimately fail to prevent people seeking change. We only have to look around us today to see the blossoming of new and inspiring mass movements for a better, fairer, greener and more peaceful world.

 


Robert Lambert responses

Bob Lambert has a profile on the Guardian website and appears to write for them. http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/robert-lambert

“Dr Robert Lambert is co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre at the University of Exeter and a part-time lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews. He was previously head of the Muslim Contact Unit in the Metropolitan Police. He is the author of Countering Al-Qaeda in London”

He has a partial response to the Guardian article outting him at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/police-counter-subversion-extremism

Following an open letter from SpinWatch, he replies here:

http://www.spinwatch.org/-articles-by-category-mainmenu-8/50-dirty-tricks/5461-bob-lambert-replies-to-spinwatch

Leave a Comment more...

Mark Kennedy

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Infiltrators, Police, Private Security

Mark “Stone” / Kennedy

The account of Mark Kennedy / Stone has been well documented in the Guardian and in the interviews he gave to the Mail on Sunday. Many of the articles can be found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/mark-kennedy with key ones being given below.
Original expose on Indymedia
PowerBase
Chronology of known activities


Article 1

Undercover officer spied on green activists

Guardian investigation reveals details of PC Mark Kennedy’s infiltration of dozens of protest groups
Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, 9 January 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/09/undercover-office-green-activists

A police officer who for seven years lived deep undercover at the heart of the environmental protest movement, travelling to 22 countries gleaning information and playing a frontline role in some of the most high-profile confrontations, has quit the Met, telling his friends that what he did was wrong.

PC Mark Kennedy, a Metropolitan police officer, infiltrated dozens of protest groups including anti-racist campaigners and anarchists, a Guardian investigation reveals.

Legal documents suggest Kennedy’s activities went beyond those of a passive spy, prompting activists to ask whether his role in organising and helping to fund protests meant he turned into an agent provocateur.

Kennedy first adopted the fake identity Mark Stone in 2003, pretending to be a professional climber, in order to disrupt the UK’s peaceful movement to combat climate change. Then aged 33, he grew long hair and sported earrings and tattoos, before going on to attend almost every major demonstration in the UK up to the G20 protests in London. He was issued with a fake passport and driving licence.

Sensitive details about Kennedy’s activities had been set to be raised in Nottingham crown court in legal argument relating to a case of six activists accused of conspiring to break into Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station.

But prosecutors unexpectedly abandoned the trial after they were asked to disclose classified details about the role the undercover officer played in organising and helping to fund the protest.

Kennedy, who recently resigned from the Met, is understood to be torn over his betrayal, telling one activist that his infiltration had been “really wrong”. “I’ll just say I’m sorry, for everything,” Kennedy said. “It really hurts.”

Apparently keen for redemption, Kennedy indicated he would “help” the defendants during their trial and was in touch with their lawyer. He backed out three weeks ago, citing his concern for the safety of his family and himself.

The Met could face pressure to explain the ethics of deploying an officer so deep undercover. It has been repeatedly criticised for its handling of protests. A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “We are not prepared to discuss the matter.”

Kennedy is believed to have been one of at least two undercover operatives working for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, an agency that monitors so-called domestic extremists. He told friends each undercover spy cost £250,000 a year.

The officer was found out in October after friends, some of whom had grown suspicious about a seemingly “perfect activist”, discovered a passport bearing his real name. They eventually unearthed documentary proof that he had been a policeman since around 1994, and, confronted with the evidence, Kennedy confessed. He is now living abroad.

Police arrested 114 activists at a school near Nottingham in April 2009 in a controversial operation to prevent activists from breaking into the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station the next day.

Twenty-six activists were later charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass. Of those, 20 admitted they planned to break into the power station to prevent the emission of around 150,000 tonnes of carbon.

They were convicted after failing to convince a jury their actions were designed to prevent immediate greater harm from climate change. Handing down lenient sentences last week, a judge said they had been acting with “the highest possible motives”.

It is widely presumed that Kennedy tipped off police about the protest. But activists who spent four months working with Kennedy to hatch the plan now question whether he crossed a boundary and became an agent provocateur.

The allegation was set to emerge during the trial of the six defendants who – unlike the other activists – maintained that they had not yet agreed to break into the power station. According to legal papers drawn up by their lawyers, Kennedy helped to organise the demonstration from an early stage, driving on reconnaissance trips of the power station and suggesting the “best and easiest way” to get into the plant.

“He continued to participate, including hiring, paying for and driving a vehicle and volunteering to be one of two principal climbers who would attach himself to the [coal-carrying] conveyor belt. He actively encouraged participation in the action and expressed the view that he was pleased it was going to be an action of some significance,” the papers say.

The documents state that planning meetings for the protest took place at Kennedy’s house and he paid the court fees of another activist arising from a separate demonstration. “It is assumed that the finance for the accommodation, the hire of vehicles and the paying of fines came from police funds,” they state.

Lawyers for the activists submitted their demand for material about Kennedy’s role last Monday. The CPS confirmed it would not proceed with the trial, stating that “previously unavailable information” that undermined its case had come to light.

It said there was no longer sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of prosecution.

“I have no doubt that our attempts to get disclosure about Kennedy’s role has led to the collapse of the trial,” said Mike Schwarz, a solicitor at the Bindmans law firm who represented the activists.

“It is no coincidence that just 48 hours after we told the CPS our clients could not receive a fair trial unless they disclosed material about Kennedy, they halted the prosecution. Given that Kennedy was, until recently, willing to assist the defence, one has to ask if the police were facing up to the possibility their undercover agent had turned native.”


Article 2

Mark Kennedy: A journey from undercover cop to ‘bona fide’ activist

No one suspected Mark Kennedy was undercover when he joined environmental activists – but has he now switched sides?

Paul Lewis & Rob Evans, 10 January, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/10/mark-kennedy-undercover-cop-activist

He turned up with long hair, tattoos and an insatiable appetite for climbing trees. Few people suspected anything odd of the man who introduced himself as Mark Stone on a dairy farm turned spiritual sanctuary in North Yorkshire.

He had come alone on 12 August 2003, in the middle of a heatwave, for a gathering of environmental activists known as Earth First.

Apart from the fact that “Stone” was apparently well-paid and ate meat, he appeared no different from the hundreds of other activists who gathered under marquees to smoke weed, play guitars and plan protests.

What no one could have known was that, despite appearances, the 33-year-old “freelance climber” was actually PC Mark Kennedy, an undercover police officer beginning an audacious operation to live deep undercover among environmental activists.

The Guardian can reveal just how successful – and controversial – the operation was.

From that day Kennedy would live a remarkable double life lasting more than seven years. So embedded in the protest community did he become that about 200 people turned up for a joint celebration of his 40th birthday, described as a “three-day bender” on a farm.

All were, of course, oblivious that Kennedy was feeding back detailed reports to his police commanders as he participated in, and sometimes even organised, some of the most high-profile demonstrations of the past decade.

He took part in almost every major environmental protest in the UK from 2003, and also managed to infiltrate groups of anti-racists, anarchists and animal rights protesters.

Using a fake passport, Kennedy visited more than 22 countries, taking part in protests against the building of a dam in Iceland, touring Spain with eco-activists, and penetrating anarchist networks in Germany and Italy.

It was a career that involved breaking into power stations, invading airports and – according to legal papers – concluded in an operation in which he now stands accused of crossing the boundary from spy to agent provocateur.

Kennedy’s personal journey also appears to have ended with a remarkable twist. In recent weeks, after protesters discovered his hidden identity and circulated news that he was a police agent, Kennedy is said to have “gone native”. He has expressed remorse to betrayed friends and is seeking some way of securing redemption.

Kennedy’s career as a police constable in the Metropolitan police began around 1994. It was almost 10 years later – in early 2003 – that he was selected as a candidate for a classified operation.

Police have been infiltrating protest movements for decades, but Kennedy was to be one of the first to work for the newly formed National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which monitors so-called “domestic extremists”.

That summer he was issued with a driving licence and passport bearing his new identity – Mark Stone – and a plausible backstory that explained his long absences. Claiming to be a professional climber, Kennedy told people he encountered in Nottingham – many of them connected to Earth First – that he often had well-paid work abroad.

Kennedy had two assets that, in the years to come, would make him indispensable to protesters. First, he could drive, and had a dark blue pick-up truck. Second, he was generous with his money, agreeing to pay for campaign literature, rented vans and fines imposed on activists in magistrates courts. His largesse would eventually earn him his best-known nickname, Flash.

Almost a year after he first emerged in Nottingham, Kennedy began gaining the trust of activists. In 2004 he became involved in Dissent!, a network preparing for protests against the following year’s G8 Summit in Gleneagles.

In 2005 he scaled trees in London, to hang a banner protesting against BP, then travelled to Scotland, where his van was used to ship equipment to an eco-camp near Stirling. After G8 came to an end, Kennedy vanished to Iceland to campaign against the construction of a dam.

He was becoming well-known among protesters, including Alex Long, a member of the London-based Wombles anarchist collective, who had met him the previous year.

Looking back, Long said, Kennedy was “too good to be true – the perfect activist”. “He would be your best mate, but not in a contrived way,” he said. “If he walked in right now, I’d say to him: ‘Mark, how you doing?’ and then only seconds later I’d think, oh, I forgot, you’re a cop.”

By all accounts Kennedy rarely expressed political views, instead taking an interest in the practicalities of protest.

Craig Logan, 37, who unwittingly became a close friend of the undercover officer, said he had “no great powers of oratory” but made friends quickly. “He was funny, friendly – if a bit blokey,” he said. “He would go out of his way for people.” He agreed that Kennedy’s van – and his money – quickly helped him to ingratiate himself with the community.

Conscious of police surveillance, activists keep those who know about the logistics of a protest “action” to a small circle. For practical reasons, those in the know typically include people responsible for transport.

By the summer of 2006, Kennedy’s life as an activist was complete. He entered the circle of people planning the first of the annual Climate Camp gatherings, helping to set up the encampment near the Drax coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire. Around the same time he chained himself to Hartlepool nuclear power station and climbed a crane at Didcot power station.

At the following year’s Climate Camp, Kennedy was trusted enough to be given the important role of organising transport needed to set up a camp near Heathrow.

But by Climate Camp 2008 – when activists gathered near Kingsnorth power station, in Kent – the undercover police officer’s appetite for action was raising suspicions. Kennedy volunteered to be the driver in an action that saw 29 activists successfully hijack a train delivering 1,000 tonnes of coal to Drax. Behind his back, some protesters began calling him “Detective Stone”.

“I was quite shocked,” said Long. “That is just about the worst thing you can say about an activist.”

It was not until 12 April 2009, when Kennedy’s uniformed colleagues stormed into a school in the suburbs of Nottingham, that his double life began to unravel.

Police had been tipped off – presumably by Kennedy – that some activists planned to break into the nearby Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, a coal-fired plant owned by E.ON. In a £300,000 operation police swooped into a school building where protesters had gathered on the eve of the invasion.

Inside, they found 114 activists including Kennedy, who had travelled from the London G20 protests. Twenty protesters were eventually convicted for the minor crime of conspiracy to commit trespass after they admitted they had planned to occupy the plant for a week, thereby preventing the emission of 150,000 tonnes of carbon.

Handing down “lenient” sentences last week at Nottingham crown court, a judge said the intended protest would have been peaceful and safe, and recognised the activists were “decent” people with “the highest possible motives”.

Kennedy, it seems, was the exception. For four months he had played a key role in planning the action, leading a reconnaissance mission and giving advice on the best way to break into the site.

“We needed someone who could drive and we needed someone we could trust. Mark felt like that person,” said Bradley Day, 23, who worked with Kennedy on the mission.

Kennedy allowed his house to be used for planning meetings and, days before the protest was due to take place he used his fake ID to pay £778 to hire a 7.5-tonne truck to transport equipment. Those around said they became increasingly aware of his desire for the protest to go ahead.

When a heavy police presence was reported outside the power station, activists considered abandoning the protest, but nominated Kennedy to drive out to see how big a threat they posed. When he returned, he told the group there was no police presence at all. The arrests followed soon after.

Immediately some suspected Kennedy, who may have been having his own regrets. “I remember being awake at about eight the next morning and seeing Mark sitting at the bottom of the stairs with his head in his hands,” said one activist who slept on Kennedy’s floor.

Suspicions grew when Kennedy – among 27 activists who were charged – declined to use the same law firm as the others. Charges against him, but not the others, were then dropped. But it was a chance discovery of his real passport, bearing the surname Kennedy, months later that put activists on a trail that would eventually lead them to documents confirming he was a police officer.

Six of Kennedy’s close friends confronted him in a house in Nottingham in the early hours of 21 October last year. He confessed, breaking down in tears and expressing regret for the pain he had caused. He told those present that he was not the only officer deep undercover in the protest movement, costing the taxpayer £250,000 a year per agent.

Those claims – along with his apparent remorse – were not believed by everyone present. “He is duplicitous. He was undercover for seven years. I didn’t trust a word of what he was saying,” said one activist.

Kennedy is now living abroad, but recent developments suggest his desire for redemption is sincere. In email exchanges with activists and their lawyer, Kennedy talked of taking a “leap of faith”, giving the defence evidence that would “assist” them. “I want to help,” he said.

Three weeks ago, Kennedy suddenly pulled out and ceased communications, but not before expressing an abiding concern. “I don’t want this ever to happen to anyone ever again,” he said. “What’s happened is really wrong.”


Article 3

Mark Kennedy: secret policeman’s sideline as corporate spy

Former undercover officer apparently also worked privately as a corporate spy using the same false identity
Rob Evans, Amelia Hill, Paul Lewis & Patrick Kingsley, 13 January 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/12/mark-kennedy-policeman-corporate-spy

The undercover police officer whose unmasking led to the collapse of a trial of six environmental protesters on Monday apparently also worked as a corporate spy, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

Details of how Mark Kennedy went from police officer to businessman reveal the extent to which shadowy corporate firms appear to have developed links with the police. It also reveals something about Kennedy himself: with an apparent view to making money out of his access, the undercover officer used cryptic names derived from a science fiction television series, Stargate.

From 2003 until around March last year, Kennedy lived in the midst of the protest movement with the fake identity Mark Stone. Remarkably, he appears to have used that same undercover identity – which according to him cost the taxpayer £1.75m – to venture into private practice.

It is not known why Mark John Kennedy – born in Camberwell, south London on 7 July 1969 – quit his police job. However, he was apparently affected by the controversial police operation to arrest 114 people in Nottingham in April 2009 before protest action at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. He later offered to give evidence for the defence in the trial.

Documents seen by the Guardian suggest Kennedy put careful thought into what he would do after leaving the police. In February 2010 – a month before resigning – he set up Tokra Limited, at an address in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

The fanciful name could have derived from a science fiction television series, Stargate. Kennedy might well have seen parallels between his company’s mission and the plot, which features the Tok’ra as an alien race symbiotically inhabiting human hosts. In their human guise, the Tok’ra fight a powerful, evil race who seek to control and destroy the planet.

Calling himself a logistics officer, Kennedy registered himself as sole director of the company. Intriguingly, the address he used is the work address of Heather Millgate, a solicitor specialising in personal injury, and a former director of Global Open, a private security firm.

Global Open was set up in 2001 by Rod Leeming, a former special branch officer. The company keeps a “discreet watch” on protest groups for clients including E.ON.

It first came to public attention in 2007 when it was implicated in the case of Paul Mercer, a friend of the then Conservative shadow defence minister, Julian Lewis, who was exposed by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade of spying for the arms firm BAE.

Until Leeming left the police in 2001, he admits he regularly infiltrated undercover operatives into protest groups in his role as head of the Animal Rights National index. But he insists Global Open does not infiltrate activist groups. He told the Guardian the company only advises firms on security. However, Global Open appears to have access to well-sourced intelligence.

A confidential document produced by Global Open for another company interested in plans to attack the E.ON-owned power station at Kingsnorth in Kent dismissed the idea there would be violence.

“The aim of the protests is to cause economic damage to ensure that the cost of building more coal-fired power plants becomes prohibitive,” it stated. “There is no threat of violence to persons from any of the groups concerned, despite newspaper reports to the contrary.”

Leeming told the Guardian the company had never employed Kennedy. He did, however, confirm that Tokra was set up for a “reason” but he could not say what it was – only that it was a confidential matter between Kennedy and Millgate. Today, Millgate declined to comment when asked why Tokra had been set up.

Leeming added that Millgate left Global Open last year on good terms because she wanted to set up her own business. A flurry of official paperwork followed.

In February last year, Millgate went from being a marketing manager to a director of Global Open. On 31 March, Tokra changed its address from Millgate’s work address to one in Basingstoke.

Last spring, Kennedy set up a second firm – Black Star High Access Limited – in east London. That company name also appears to have been taken from a television science fiction programme: Black Star is the name of a spaceship in Babylon 5.

On 12 April, Kennedy applied for Tokra to be dissolved. Within a few days of that application, he resigned from the police. Tokra was finally dissolved on the 17 August. On 31 August, Millgate resigned as director of Global Open. Black Star High Access has not yet filed any records to reveal whether it is a viable, financial concern, but it is still active.

Another friend of Kennedy said the implication he went on to work for private security firms “fits perfectly” with his behaviour. Kennedy was becoming agitated and, unusually for someone who earned the nickname “Flash” for his impressive wealth, he started running out of money around the time he resigned.

“He asked to borrow money – and that was after we now know he resigned from the Met,” the friend said.

But if Kennedy was seeking to use the fake identity provided by police to continue his life as a spy, there was one crucial obstacle: he would almost certainly have had to hand in his fake driving licence and passport, meaning he would need to travel abroad under his real name.

This explains why, after maintaining his cover for seven years, he made such an amateur error of allowing friends to find his real passport, bearing the name Kennedy. “Mark must have known he had a ticking timebomb in his pocket when he travelled abroad,” the friend said.

His curious activities in Italy recently also point clearly to his having obtained a new employer. In September, Kennedy – a meat eater who had never previously shown an interest in animal rights campaigns – confounded friends by attending a gathering of interested activists in Milan.

Alex Long, a former member of the Wombles, an anti-capitalist group, received his last contact from Kennedy around this time, after sending him a text message to raise funds for the legal campaign for a fellow activist.

“The last time I spoke to Mark was in September 2010, a few weeks before he was outed,” said Long. “I texted him to try to raise money for the legal costs of a friend who is facing jail. He just replied: ‘I’m in Milan at an animal rights gathering – I’ll donate €50′.”

Article 4

Mail On Sunday, 17 January 2011, Caroline Graham
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347478/Mark-Kennedy-Undercover-policeman-tells-story-8-years-eco-warriors.html

The undercover policeman who posed as an eco-warrior for eight years came out of hiding to tell his full, extraordinary story – and reveal that he fears for his life.

Mark Kennedy, 41, denies ‘going native’ and triggering the collapse of the trial of six environmental activists accused of trying to shut down one of Britain’s biggest power stations.

He is also furious at what he calls a ‘smear campaign’ that he bedded a string of vulnerable women to extract information.

He said angrily: ‘I had two relationships while I was undercover, one of which was serious. I am the first one to hold up my hands and say, yes, that was wrong.’

He says it was to ‘do the exit strategy properly’ and offer a more credible explanation for why he was leaving the activist movement. He bought a canal boat, the Tamarisk, as ‘an affordable place to live’.

It has since been claimed that Kennedy used the boat to bed more women – a claim he strongly denies.

‘It’s my home,’ he says. ‘I am now having to read reports about how it was my shag pad. That’s simply not true.’

Describing a life lived ‘constantly on the edge’, he claims his former police bosses are searching for him in America, where he fled last year.

He has received death threats from activists and sleeps in a barricaded room.

‘I am in fear for my life and don’t know where to turn,’ he says. Mr Kennedy refutes suggestions that he crossed the line, became an agent provocateur and played a central role in organising the very protests police wanted him to sabotage.

‘My superiors knew where I was at all times – my BlackBerry was fitted with a tracking device – and they sanctioned every move I made. I didn’t sneeze without them knowing about it. I feel I’ve been hung out to dry.’

Speaking from a safe house, the former police officer tells how he led an astonishing double life as committed green anarchist Mark Stone before being ultimately let down by his handlers.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday he reveals that:

* He was unmasked as a spy after his beautiful redhead girlfriend of five years found his real passport.
* Five policemen unaware of his undercover role savagely beat him up at a protest.
* Intelligence he gathered was passed directly to Tony Blair, then Prime Minister.
* Campaigners subjected him to a terrifying kangaroo court ordeal when his cover was blown.
* He was ‘incompetently’ handled by officers and was denied psychological counselling.

Mr Kennedy is estranged from his wife, with whom he has two children, a boy of 12 and a ten-year-old girl.

‘My son has been crying and says he never wants to see me again,’ he says.

The officer was recruited in 2002 by the Met’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

After his exposure last week, the secretive unit faced accusations that it ran ‘undemocratic’ operations. It has been urged to reveal the extent of its covert surveillance of peaceful protesters.

Mr Kennedy says he knows of at least 15 other officers who infiltrated the ranks of green campaigners in the past decade and of four who remain undercover.

He infiltrated and became a key member of the hardline group behind the alleged plot to shut down the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire in 2009.

When defence barristers submitted a disclosure request asking for information about his involvement, the prosecution apparently opted to abandon the case rather than have ‘murky’ evidence about the police’s involvement heard in public.

But Mr Kennedy says the case was doomed to fail anyway because covert recordings he supplied police proved undeniably that the six men facing trial last week for conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass were innocent.

Police withheld the recordings which, it was claimed yesterday, was the real reason the case collapsed.

Mr Kennedy’s case is now the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

I’ve always respected the police. But the world of undercover policing is grey and murky. There is some bad stuff going on. Really bad stuff…

In an astonishing and revealing interview, Mark Kennedy today presents a very different image of the murky world of undercover policing to the one splashed across the media all week.

As Mark Stone, a long-haired drop-out mountaineer, nicknamed ‘Flash’ because of his access to ready cash, he attended scores of environmental protests in the UK and Europe.

But the man who sits before me is unrecognisable. His once lanky hair has been shorn into a neat short-back-and-sides. His grungy eco-warrior outfit of torn jeans and grubby T-shirt has been replaced by neatly pressed trousers, starched shirt and designer sweater. His full arm tattoos are covered by long sleeves. The only reminders of his former life are the piercings in his ears.

He is on the run, he says, from both his former police bosses and from activists who have made death threats against him. But he has also been swamped with offers for book and movie rights to his life story.

Speaking for the first time about what he calls ‘my living nightmare’, he says:

‘I can’t sleep. I have lost weight and am constantly on edge. I barricade the door with chairs at night. I am in genuine fear for my life. I have been told that my former bosses from the force are out here in America looking for me. I have been told by activists to watch my back as people are out to get me.

‘I have chosen to speak out because I want my story out there. People like to think of things in terms of black and white. But the world of undercover policing is grey and murky. There is some bad stuff going on. Really bad stuff.’

He says he is ‘horrified’ by accusations that he ‘crossed the line’, goading activists into actions they would not normally have considered.

‘I had a cover officer whom I spoke to numerous times a day,’ he says.

‘He was the first person I spoke to in the morning and the last person I spoke to at night. I didn’t sneeze without a superior officer knowing about it. My BlackBerry had a tracking device. My cover officer joked that he knew when I went to the loo.’

He is also furious at what he calls a ‘smear campaign’ that he bedded a string of vulnerable women to extract information.

He said angrily: ‘I had two relationships while I was undercover, one of which was serious. I am the first one to hold up my hands and say, yes, that was wrong.

‘I crossed the line. I fell deeply in love with the second woman. I was embedded into a group of people for nearly a decade. They became my friends. They supported me and they loved me. All I can do now is tell the truth. I don’t think the police are the good guys and the activists are bad or vice versa. Both sides did good things and bad things. I am speaking out as I hope the police can learn from the mistakes they made.

‘I was at the heart of a very sensitive operation. I was told my work was the benchmark for other undercover officers. My superior officer told me on more than one occasion, particularly during the G8 protests in Scotland in 2005, that information I was providing was going directly to Tony Blair’s desk.’

‘I am physically and mentally exhausted,’ he says. ‘I have had some dark thoughts. I thought I could end this very quickly.

‘I went to see a psychiatrist recently and told her I was having thoughts of suicide. I don’t have any confidence. My world has been destroyed. I don’t have any friends, they were all in the activist movement.’

Kennedy was born and raised in Orpington, Kent, the eldest son of traffic police officer John and housewife Sheila. His younger brother Ian is a landscape artist in America.

He left school at 16, worked as a court usher and joined the City of London Police in 1990, aged 21.

‘I always respected the police,’ he says. ‘I’ve given my life to them. I never imagined I would end up in this situation.’

As he speaks, over a period of several hours, it is abundantly clear he is a police officer. He talks in a clipped, concise manner. He gives details in a monotone voice. He often uses ‘police-speak’ and acronyms.

In the early Nineties he was a uniformed member of the ‘Ring of Steel’ around the City of London. He transferred to the Metropolitan Police and in 1996 was recruited to his first undercover course on street-level drug dealing.

‘I was a natural at undercover work and I loved it,’ he says.

‘Drug work was black and white. You identify the bad guys, record and film the evidence, present it in court and take them down. I did that for four years and loved it.’

Kennedy married in 1994 and had two children, a boy, now aged 12, and a daughter, ten. His wife lives in Ireland and is a staunch Catholic and for that reason they have not divorced.

He says his children are ‘heartbroken’ by the current turn of events: ‘My son has been crying and says he never wants to see me again,’ he says sadly.

His marriage failed in 2000, around the same time as he was approached by the Animal Rights National Index, a unit which became the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), a shadowy body that runs a nationwide intelligence database of political activists.

The unit comes under the control of the Association of Chief Police Officers which, as The Mail on Sunday has previously reported, is a limited company that sells information from the Police National Computer, among other concerns.

Kennedy says his cover officer would report back up a line of command who ‘were aware of everything I was doing. Every action I took had to receive something called an “authority” which covered me to infiltrate activist groups and be involved in minor crime such as trespass and criminal damage. In all the time I worked undercover I never broke the law.’

Kennedy says: ‘The NPOIU is extremely specialised and intense. It is difficult work. To infiltrate a group like the activists is hard, even though they are sociable and friendly at the lower level. I had to create a whole life, a whole backstory, and maintain credibility for years.’

Kennedy says he knew of 15 other operatives doing the same work as him during his eight years undercover.

‘Some got busted, others left,’ he says. ‘I was the longest-serving operative. At the time I left in 2009, there were at least four other operatives. I never did anything to jeopardise the work or lives of my fellow officers and I will not start now.’

Kennedy created what is known in the trade as ‘a legend’ – a believable backstory.

‘I was an avid rock climber and I had been to Pakistan so I created a story about being involved in the importation of drugs,’ he says.

‘I knew the London drug scene well so I purported to be a courier. That is how I justified having money.

‘I said I’d led a bad life and wanted to make amends, which was why I was drawn to eco-activism. I was also a keen climber, so I often worked as an industrial climber, which meant I had a means of showing I was “making” money, rather than the truth – which was that the NPOIU would wire it to me.

‘I was given a fake passport as Mark Stone, a driver’s licence, bank accounts, a credit card and a phone with a tracking device.’

His £50,000 annual police salary was paid into a private account in his real name. All other payments, which he says came to £200,000 a year, went into his ‘Mark Stone’ account. He says since dropping his cover ‘I have found it hard to sign my own name on cheques again’.
Pc Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy says he knew of 15 other operatives doing the same work as him during the eight years undercover

He was sent to Nottingham to the Sumac Centre, a hub of activists: ‘I started slowly and made friends. Then I went to my first gathering of the Earth First group where I met an activist called Mark Barnsley.

‘Our friendship blossomed and he treated me like a brother. He is a cantankerous figure but was well respected for his anarchist and vegan principles and the fact that he had fought with the PLO.

‘I was one of the few people who had a van, which made me a real asset. Things we take for granted in the real world are rare in the activist world. In those days very few of them had a mobile phone. Even now not many drive. That’s how the Flash nickname came about. I had stuff.’

Kennedy was involved in numerous activities, ranging from protests at the Drax power station in Yorkshire to picketing arms fairs in London and the Karahnjukar Dam in Iceland. His climbing skills were used to scale towers and buildings to unfurl banners. He drove hundreds of activists to demonstrations.

‘I began to live the life and enjoy it,’ he says frankly. ‘People have this image of hairy tree huggers and, yes, there is an element of that. I used to joke about them not just being vegans, but “freegans”. I was with people who would dive into skips to get food if it was free. But there are also a lot of educated, passionate people with degrees who really believe in what they are doing.’

I ask if the line between the activism and his police work ever became blurred: ‘As the years went on, I did get a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, (where kidnap victims fall for their abductors). But I never lost sight of my work. I texted and informed on a daily basis. But I began to like the people I was with. I formed lasting friendships.

‘I had no other friends. I was estranged from my wife. My life was undercover. Of course I cared about them. But I didn’t go rogue. I was immersing myself in the culture to do my job, to be credible.

‘I reported everything. There were many instances of shoplifting. I was offered counterfeit money. I was offered drugs many, many times. Yes, I had a serious relationship but there was another undercover female operative there who definitely knew about it.

‘If anyone had asked, I would have told them. But no one asked. That is the problem about this whole undercover police operation. There seem to be no guidelines, no rules. I was pretty much left to fend for myself.

‘I got great information to keep police a step ahead of the game. I also prevented violence. At a G8 protest in Germany the riot cops were planning to go in heavy, but I knew the crowd was planning to disperse. I texted that information in, and the charge was called off. That stopped bloodshed.’

The low point of his career came in 2006 when he was beaten up by five uniformed police officers on the perimeter fence of the Drax power station – who were only there because he tipped them off.

‘A young petite woman I knew as Cathleen began to crawl through a hole in the fence,’ he says. ‘Then I saw a uniformed police officer start to strike her very hard on her legs and lower back with his baton.

‘I tried to stand between her and him. I didn’t do anything aggressive. That’s when I got jumped on by five officers who kicked and beat me. They had batons and pummelled my head. They punched me. One officer repeatedly stamped on my back.’

Kennedy went to hospital with a head wound, broken finger and a prolapsed disc. His attempt to claim for injuries incurred on duty was denied as it would blow his cover. ‘That p***ed me off,’ he says.

He says he was embraced by activists throughout Europe who he found ‘more militant and volatile’ than in Britain. In 2008 he was invited to a forest on the French-German border where groups from around Europe would share skills.

‘It was almost stereotypical. The Germans made very technical, clean and precise incendiary devices, the French were flamboyant and used Gauloises cigarettes to light the fuse and the Greeks were all for a big bang: they strapped a gas canister to a basic incendiary device.

‘When it was my turn I shared details of arm tubes – when protestors clip their arms into steel tubes to create a barrier. I think the others were a bit disappointed but British activism didn’t have the militancy or violence of other countries.’

Kennedy says he would travel abroad with fellow activists, and feed information back to his British superiors to share with other nations. ‘Activism has no borders,’ he says. ‘I would never go abroad without authority from my superiors and the local police.’

But Kennedy claims there were repeated cases of police mismanagement.

‘I was supposed to get psychological counselling every three months,’ he said.

‘I would go two years without seeing the shrink. Initially meetings were regular. Then it became a farce. The office was so greedy for intelligence that they didn’t set up the meetings. They went by the wayside. I’m sure that’s the same for other undercover officers too.’

He adds: ‘Plans were constantly changed at the last minute. It wore on my nerves. They just assumed I could change everything on the whim of the officer in control. It wasn’t that easy.

‘I became increasingly paranoid. I was stressed out. I was fried. I never stopped being a cop, but I was pushed to the limit of what I could endure.’

Kennedy says his cover was blown when a meeting planning action at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire was raided in April 2009.

‘When it all kicked off, 114 people were arrested, including me. No further action was taken against most of them, but 27 people, including me, were to be charged with conspiracy offences. I kept being told by my cover officer, “Don’t worry, they are going to drop it,” but they never did.’

Meanwhile, Kennedy continued to work undercover, including the climate camp in London in the summer of 2009, but the Ratcliffe-on-Soar arrest was still hanging over him.

‘I was interviewed twice by detectives,’ he says. ‘The second time, I was the only one without a solicitor, which was hugely weird.

‘You can’t lie to a lawyer. So I couldn’t have a lawyer. I was a few days from being charged, then the case was dropped. That pretty much blew my cover.’

He says he was told his eight-year undercover operation was over in a curt text message in September 2009.

‘I’d just had a huge 40th birthday party for me and ten others born in 1969 called the 69ers party at a farm in Herefordshire. I was told, “At least you had a great party and now it’s over.” Then the text came telling me I had three weeks.

‘I had to clear out of the house where I was living in Nottingham. I was made to hand over my Mark Stone passport, driving licence and credit cards. I was then driven to Ireland.

‘I didn’t say goodbye properly. I’d told the activists I was feeling burned out and was going to visit my brother in America “indefinitely”. It was ridiculous, everyone knows you can’t just go to America like that.

‘I was given a mailing address in the US which was a PO Box. I had Facebook accounts and email accounts but wasn’t allowed to use those. I had lots of leave to take, which I spent with my children in Ireland.

‘I had an interview with the Met’s personnel department in December 2009 and was told I wasn’t qualified.

‘I was in there less than 20 minutes. I came out hugely depressed. I’d done 20 years’ service and they were basically telling me I was only qualified to drive a panda car. So long undercover had left me totally inequipped to go back into mainstream policing. I couldn’t even use the radios or computers.

‘Then in January last year I was approached by a private company which advises corporations about activist trends. It’s run by Rod Leeming, a former Special Branch officer. I’d never met him before.’

The company, Global Open, is based in London and has advised major corporations including E.On – which runs the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant – and BAE.

Kennedy handed in his resignation from the police in January, ending work in March.

He then went back to Nottingham and contacted his old friends: ‘People were worried about me. I wanted to withdraw myself in a more believable way. I didn’t tell police I was going back.’

He resumed his relationship with his girlfriend while he worked for Global Open as a consultant – although he says he did not operate undercover for the company.

‘I was using the time to try to extract myself in a proper way,’ he says.

‘I did a course on servicing wind turbines. I made the excuse that I was going to go off around the world doing that. That would have been a far more acceptable exit than just vanishing.’

In July he and his girlfriend went on holiday to Europe – when she discovered his passport in the name of Mark Kennedy. ‘She told the other activists about it and they started investigating me.

‘When I went to visit my kids in October I got a menacing phone call saying they knew I was a cop.

‘I knew then that it was over.’

td p { margin-bottom: 0cm; }p { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }

 

   

 

 

Leave a Comment more...

Simon Brenner

by on Mar.12, 2011, under Infiltrators, Police

The Case “Simon Brenner”

Published by Linksunten Indymedia, 18 Dec 2010 – http://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/30880

On Sunday the 12th of December 2010 a undercover agent working for the Landeskriminalamt (LKA) Baden-Württemberg was uncovered in Heidelberg, Germany. His aim was to make contact with the Antifa scene via open left structures and to gather information about individuals as well as group structures to be presented directly to the LKA and the local state security division.

After three days of research and reconstruction the following has emerged:

Cover story

The LKA informer had a German national identity card under the name of “Simon Brenner” (Nr.: 6920333978D-8604138-1511088), with the date of birth stated as 13.04.1986, living in the town of Leimen (Germany). Allegedly he formerly lived in Bad Säckingen in the Waldshut (Baden-Württemberg) area, which coheres with the license plate of his silver Nissan estate car (WT-??-???).

He used a mobile with the number 0049 (0) 151 20727114 and the email addresses simonbrenner@ymail.com and californication@riseup.net, the latter has already been blocked. Under the user name ‘californiaction’ ha also wrote articles on Indymedia.

In the summer term 2010 he enrolled with most likely false documents at the University of Heidelberg in the subjects german philology and ethnology and for the winter term switched to ethnology and sociology (Student Nr.: 2858472).

Chronology

  • November 2009: first appearance on the students information day, first contact to the SDS Heidelberg
  • April 2010: enrollment at the University of Heidelberg, involvement with the SDS
  • 24.04.2010: participation in the direct action “Umzingelung des AKW Biblis” (“encirclement of the nuclear power plant Biblis”)
  • 01.05.2010: participation in the blockades against the fascist protest in Berlin
  • 15.05. – 23.05.2010: participation in the Campus Camp in Heidelberg, first contact the the “Kritische Initiative” (KI)
  • 09.06.2010: participation in the anti education cuts protest in Heidelberg
  • 26.07.2010: participation in a anti nuclear energy manifestation
  • 15.08. – 21.08.2010: participation in a direct action climbing workshop
  • 18.09.2010: participation in the the antifascist protests and blockades against the fascist protest in Sinsheim-Hoffenheim
  • 27.09. – 03.10.2010: participation in the NoBorder Camp in Brussels (protests, direct action)
  • 23.10.2010: participation in the antifascist protests in Rastatt and Rheinmünster-Söllingen against the fascist centre „Rössle“
  • 06.11.2010: participation and co-organization of the protests against the nuclear waste transport and the ‘south blockade’ („Südblockade“)
  • 14.11.2010: participation in the antifascist protests against the hero memorial of Heidelberg on the ‘honor graveyard’ („Ehrenfriedhof“)
  • 27.11.2010: participation in the antifascists protests against the fascists protest in Sinsheim-Hoffenheim
  • 11.12.2010: organization and participation of the Critical Mass Action in Heidelberg

The end of the operation

The agent was uncovered by a holiday acquaintance, which he had met in France before the start of his undercover mission. To her he presented himself as “Simon” and told her that he was a police officer in Überlingen. This holiday acquaintance then met him in Heidelberg while she was visiting a friend within the scene. Although he tried to pressure her not to say anything, she told her friend that he was a police officer.

Confronted with this accusation on the next day (12.12.), he admitted to have been sent to Heidelberg as undercover agent for the LKA.

He said, that he did normal police officer duty in Überlingen, but then, as he wanted to pursue a career, had to decide between BFE and LKA. He went for the latter. There he was in the division I540 (“undercover investigations state security”), and availed of a special training for undercover investigations as well as a briefing on the situation of the Heidelberger left scene.

The aim of his mission he said was “information gathering and threat prevention”, however without a concrete incident being the instigator nor there being a concrete suspicion (which by German law is necessary for such a mission). The long term goal of this long planed mission was to gather information about the “antifa-scene”. Over a medium term, he said, he wanted to try and make contact to the Antifascist Initiative Heidelberg (AIHD) and to infiltrate them.

Further on, he said he gave reports to his superiors in Stuttgart every two weeks, as well as having been in contact in a regular manner over the phone with the Heidelberger sate security division for follow up assessments of political actions.

He also self-confessed that he was responsible for the raiding of a flat of a comrade as well as the enormous police presence at the Heidelberger “Ehrenfriedhof” during the protests against the hero memorial.

During his deployment of nearly 9 months, he said that he gathered all information he could get on political activists and there private environment, to subsequently file these and then forward them to his superiors.

Conclusion

The goal of this mission was obviously the infiltration of and the widespread information gathering on the Heidelberg left, especially of the organized antifa scene. Through the selection of the groups and actions in which he engaged, he tried to establish a comprehensible theoretical as well as practical radicalization for “his” political peers. For this the snitch used low-threshold open structures and groups, to gather a credible reputation within the “scene” to then in a long term avail of precarious and sensitive information.

Even though this case in a shocking way demonstrates how parts of the executive forces undermine the constitutionally enshrined imperative of the separation between police forces and intelligence services and simply ignore the law with such a ruthlessness, also especially towards the psychological condition of the immediate persons concerned, we herby pledge not to set open structures and ‘scene-newbies’ under general suspicion.

Open structures and groups are necessary low-threshold points of reference for politically interested people. Nonetheless, it is necessary, now even more so than before, to instigate discussions within the organized left about the risks of open structures and to work towards a security concept beyond blind paranoia or to call security standards already in place into our minds and into political praxis!

No collaboration with state repression institutions!
For solidarity!
Get organized! Support your local antifa!

ATTENTION: This reconstruction by no ways claims to be complete! If you should have more information about “Simon Brenner”, pictures or actions in which he took part, details of his life (also before his undercover mission), please refer to the Rote Hilfe or the Antifascist Initiative Heidelberg, whose statements and press releases are documented in the following links:

 


Follow up article

http://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/31904

Heidelberg undercover police spy “Simon Brenner”, exposed as Simon Bromma

On the 12th of December 2010 a police spy of the Landeskriminalamt (police authority of the federal state) was uncovered. He had infiltrated the left-wing scene in Heidelberg in southwest Germany. The cover name of the spy was “Simon Brenner”. His real name is Simon Bromma. According to his cover story, “Brenner” came from Bad Säckingen. In fact, Bromma is from Radolfzell at Lake Constance.

Pigs, Fools, Squares

The fictional father of the politically interested student “Simon Brenner” is called “Franz” and lives at Zeppelinstraße 45 in Bad Säckingen on the southern edge of the land Baden-Württemberg. The policeman’s father is called Franz, too, and lives in southern Baden-Württemberg. The real Franz lives in Radolfzell and works in the Konstanz police department. Father Bromma is organized in the police trade union “Deutsche Polizeigewerkschaft”, a member of the church council of St. Meinrad, and “Fähnrich” (ensign) of the fool’s guard of the fool’s guild “Narrizella Ratoldi”, founded in 1933.

Simon’s brother Benjamin “Bennie” Bromma is a police officer, too. The “Polizeiobermeister” (police sergeant, first class) is organized in the same fool’s club as his father. He plays drums in the military style marching band of Radolfzell and the municipal youth orchestra “Gemeindejugend Mühlhausen, Ehingen & Aach”.

Simon Bromma himself is active in a gymnastic club. As “Turngauverantwortlicher” (responsible for the gymnastic district) he was responsible for the registration process of the “40. International Youth Camp of the Baden Gymnastic Youth in Breisach” in August 2008. For this he used his home address Allmendstraße 9, 78315 Radolfzell, phone 07732-971600 and his email address SimBromma@yahoo.de. No doubt: the Bromma family is deeply rooted in the traditional life of Radolfzell.

A cover close to the uncovered

In January 2010 – while he was looking for a flat as “Simon Brenner” in Heidelberg – Simon Bromma was also elected to the position of “Jugendwart” (youth coach) at the general assembly of his gymnastic club “Hegau-Bodensee-Turngau” at the Winegrower’s Centre of Wine and Culture in Meersburg. On the “Turngau” website, he’s still listed as “Jugendwart (kommissarisch)” (youth coach, provisional) with the address of the riot police in Wolfgang-Brumme Allee 52, 71034 Böblingen, phone: 0160-90646795, email: Jugendwart@Hegau-Bodensee-Turngau.de.
At the end of 2006, Bromma received his certificate of apprenticeship, and an award in metalworking. According to the hacked emails of “Simon Brenner”, he pretended to have finished an apprenticeship as industrial mechanic in papers he had to provide to potential landlords in Heidelberg. He told Heidelberg activists he had worked as a metalworker in his father’s company.
“Simon Brenner” liked to ride his bicycle from his flat just about outside Heidelberg into town. Simon Bromma participated in a bicycle race for his police department in Kirchzarten in the Black Forest in 2008. According to his ID card, “Brenner” was born on the 13th of April 1986. For his registration in Kirchzarten, Bromma gave 1985 as his year of birth. “Simon Brenner” used the Yahoo mail address simonbrenner@ymail.com, Simon Bromma can be contacted via simbromma@yahoo.de. Bromma used simykingmail@gmx.de for his Amazon account. On the 29th of October 2008, Bromma ordered a book with the title “Facing death every day: police officers recount [paperback]”. He provided his home address at Allmendstraße in Radolfzell as billing address.

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered

After finishing his training at the 5th section of riot police in Böblingen in 2009, Bromma started working at the police station in Überlingen, Mühlenstraße 16. According to him, he received several months of “special training” for undercover cops by the LKA (police authority of the federal state) and started building up the identity of “Simon Brenner” in the end of 2009. He actively infiltrated the left-wing scene in Heidelberg starting in April 2010. He reported back to the LKA, department “I540 Verdeckte Ermittlungen” (undercover investigations) and confessed to writing up his reports every second week in Stuttgart. He also kept in contact with the Heidelberg political police (“Staatsschutz”, part of the local criminal investigation department). His contact officers at the department of political police “Dezernat 14” in Heidelberg were Michael Schlotthauer (49 years) and Volker Schönfeld (46 years).

“Simon Brenner” used bank accounts with Postbank Stuttgart, account number 460730700 and Volksbank Rhein-Wehra, account number 43458302. He gave out the mobile phone number 0151-20727114 to his Heidelberg “comrades” and used the same phone to stay in touch with his case officers at the LKA. Another number of “Simon Brenner” was 0160-6543994. While looking for a flat, he was interested only in those a bit outside the city, even though his allowable expenses were high enough to pay for a room in the city centre: “My spending ceiling is about 500 € per month, without heating and other utilities.”

The cover story of “Simon Brenner” is quite close to his real life. From the cops’ point of view this makes sense. Similar names make it unlikely that his cover is blown by a chance encounter with an old acquaintance, and the spy reacts naturally to the familiar sound of his name. Neither the spy nor friends can accidentally reveal something with indiscreet chatter. The substantive overlapping of biographical data, home region, knowledge and hobbies of both the real and the assumed identities keeps the spy from having to pretend all the time. And a police family is the best assurance for loyal silence.

Snitches are the most abject of all

“Simon Brenner” was convinced that he could simply vanish. He believed in the anonymity of his real identity. For him, betrayal was just a game. But betrayal is no game. Simon Bromma will have to face the consequences of what he did.


Leave a Comment more...

Marco Jacobs

by on Mar.10, 2011, under Infiltrators, Police

Mark “Marco” Jacobs

See below for statement from Cardiff Anarchist Network

Third undercover police spy unmasked as scale of network emerges

The Guardian, 15 January, 2011

Paul Lewis, Matthew Taylor & Rajeev Syal

The unprecedented scale of undercover operations used by police to monitor Britain’s political protest movements was laid bare last night after a third police spy was identified by the Guardian.

News of the existence of the 44-year-old male officer comes as regulators prepare two separate official inquiries into the activities of this hitherto secret police surveillance network.

The latest officer, whose identity has been withheld amid fears for his safety in other criminal operations, worked for four years undercover with an anarchist group in Cardiff.

Last night a former girlfriend and fellow activist said she felt “colossally betrayed” by “Officer B”. The 29-year-old, who had a relationship with him for three months in the summer of 2008 while he was working undercover, said: “I was doing nothing wrong, I was not breaking the law at all. So for him to come along and lie to us and get that deep into our lives was a colossal, colossal betrayal.”

The woman, who did not want to be named, said “Officer B” arrived in Cardiff in 2005, becoming a key member of the 20-strong Anarchist network in the city and “one of her best friends”. They had known each for three years before their relationship and she said she did not suspect his true identity until after he left Cardiff in October 2009, claiming he had been offered a job as a gardener on Corfu.

According to the woman Officer B’s flat was very empty, with no pictures of friends or family and he rarely talked about his past. “He always said he could not tell his family or friends about us because of the age difference … if it had been anyone else I would have thought that was strange, but because [he] had been such a good friend for so long it really did not enter my mind that he was anything but a stand-up honest man.”

Before he left for Corfu he held a goodbye dinner. His former girlfriend said she kept in touch with him for about a month via email, text message and the occasional postcard. Then the contact dried up.

“At first friends started messaging him asking if he was all right, then when there was no response, a few messaged him to say they were worried he was a spy, but we never heard anything.”

The woman said that the experience had rocked her confidence and made her suspicious of other campaigners.

“I am incredibly, incredibly angry,” she said. “Obviously to do that to anybody is pretty low, but to do that to someone who trusted you and cared about you and did their best to look after you is just unspeakable. I cannot imagine the kind of person who would lie to someone they were having a relationship with for that long and that seriously … I strongly suspect that he felt very bad about what he was doing, but that is not an excuse.”

The unprecedented scale of undercover operations used by police to monitor Britain’s political protest movements was laid bare last night after a third police spy was identified by the Guardian.

News of the existence of the 44-year-old male officer comes as regulators prepare two separate official inquiries into the activities of this hitherto secret police surveillance network.

The latest officer, whose identity has been withheld amid fears for his safety in other criminal operations, worked for four years undercover with an anarchist group in Cardiff.

Last night a former girlfriend and fellow activist said she felt “colossally betrayed” by “Officer B”. The 29-year-old, who had a relationship with him for three months in the summer of 2008 while he was working undercover, said: “I was doing nothing wrong, I was not breaking the law at all. So for him to come along and lie to us and get that deep into our lives was a colossal, colossal betrayal.”

The woman, who did not want to be named, said “Officer B” arrived in Cardiff in 2005, becoming a key member of the 20-strong Anarchist network in the city and “one of her best friends”. They had known each for three years before their relationship and she said she did not suspect his true identity until after he left Cardiff in October 2009, claiming he had been offered a job as a gardener on Corfu.

According to the woman Officer B’s flat was very empty, with no pictures of friends or family and he rarely talked about his past. “He always said he could not tell his family or friends about us because of the age difference … if it had been anyone else I would have thought that was strange, but because [he] had been such a good friend for so long it really did not enter my mind that he was anything but a stand-up honest man.”

Before he left for Corfu he held a goodbye dinner. His former girlfriend said she kept in touch with him for about a month via email, text message and the occasional postcard. Then the contact dried up.

“At first friends started messaging him asking if he was all right, then when there was no response, a few messaged him to say they were worried he was a spy, but we never heard anything.”

The woman said that the experience had rocked her confidence and made her suspicious of other campaigners.

“I am incredibly, incredibly angry,” she said. “Obviously to do that to anybody is pretty low, but to do that to someone who trusted you and cared about you and did their best to look after you is just unspeakable. I cannot imagine the kind of person who would lie to someone they were having a relationship with for that long and that seriously … I strongly suspect that he felt very bad about what he was doing, but that is not an excuse.”


Statement from Cardiff Anarchist Network (CAN) on the infiltration by Mark ‘Marco’ Jacobs

Cardiff Anarchist Network, 19 January 2011, https://southwalesanarchists.wordpress.com/

This is our response to the revelation that our group had been infiltrated by Mark Jacobs for four years.

For four years the Cardiff Anarchist Network was infiltrated by an undercover police officer we knew as ‘Marco’. During that time we believe he had a number of key objectives – to gather intelligence and disrupt the activities of CAN; to use the reputation and trust CAN had built up to infiltrate other groups, including a European network of activists; and to stop CAN functioning as a coherent group.

By 2009 suspicions had built up, but Marco had so effectively messed up relationships and trust within the group, that we were not properly sharing or voicing our suspicions. In the autumn of 2009 he hosted a ‘goodbye’ dinner for the group, and announced he was leaving for a job in Corfu. After he left, texts and postcards arrived for some weeks, but then suddenly dried up, without explanation. His British mobile number was not recognised on dialling it and the Greek mobile number he had been using after he left barred incoming calls and texts went undelivered. His social network pages became untouched. Suspicions crystallised, but by now he had completely disappeared.

People who had been associated with CAN and the other groups he had become a part of in Cardiff, such as No Borders and Gwent Anarchists, tried to make it known within activist circles that the man we knew as Marco was an undercover cop. But without definite proof we were urged not to make unfounded allegations.

It was only when news broke on Mark Kennedy and Lynn Watson that there seemed an opportunity to establish the truth for certain. Following our leads, on the 14th January 2011 the Guardian obtained confirmation that he was indeed a serving police officer. We don’t know exactly how this was done, but believe that confirmation came directly from ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers. We were not comfortable relying on the mainstream media in this way, but all our previous attempts to properly establish who he was had come to nothing.

Marco worked on us (not with us) for four years. He developed strong personal relationships and some of us feel an enormous personal betrayal. But he also deliberately and systematically set out to damage a movement, and we think it is important that knowledge of what he did, and how he did it, is shared and discussed as widely as possible.

Possibly one of the most damaging things he did was use his CAN ‘credentials’ to infiltrate the anti-G8 Dissent network in Europe. CAN had been actively involved in Dissent and in the planning of mass blockades at the G8 in Stirling in 2005, and some members of CAN were keen to contribute to a wider European network. But CAN was a small group, and very few amongst us had the time and money to travel to international meetings. Marco of course, had plenty of all of these, so it was easy for him to step up and get involved. In at least one case he attended European planning meetings alongside Mark Kennedy. It is likely that their activities seriously damaged the organisation of protest at the G8 in Germany in 2007.

Notably none of the three undercover cops so far uncovered went to the G8 in Russia. Marco was due to attend, but pulled out at the last minute – presumably unable to get agreement from the Russian government, or authorisation to act without their knowledge.

Like Mark Kennedy, Marco also sabotaged environmentalist direct action. In 2007, having managed to get himself included in the planning process for an action against the LNG pipeline terminal at Milford Haven in west Wales, he was able to pass information to the local police that resulted in the arrests of a number of activists. All criminal prosecutions ultimately collapsed, but not before the police had raided houses, including Marco’s own flat, and obtained computer equipment in what seems to have been a massive fishing expedition.

Much of Marco’s time though was spent getting involved in all the normal activities of a political group – meetings, film showings, gatherings and events designed to provoke discussion and debate about radical politics. We believe that in at least one case – the showing of an animal rights film with an accompanying talk – he put on an event purely to gather intelligence on the people who would attend. He was also keen on being involved in projects where there was co-operation with other groups, such as the campaign against the privatisation of military training and the building of a new defence academy at RAF St Athan. Looking back now we can see he was carefully but consistently disruptive. Despite his obvious competence, whenever anything – building contacts, outreach, transport – depended entirely on him, it would come to nothing.

Damaging the structure of CAN was undoubtedly a key objective. He changed the culture of the organisation, encouraging a lot of drinking, gossip and back-stabbing, and trivialised and ran down any attempt made by anyone in the group to achieve objectives. He clearly aimed to separate and isolate certain people from the group and from each other, and subtly exaggerated political and personal differences, telling lies to both ‘sides’ to create distrust and ill-feeling. In the four years he was in Cardiff a strong, cohesive and active group had all-but disintegrated. Marco left after anarchist meetings in the city stopped being held.

Reading this, you’d be forgiven for wondering why the hell it took us so long to suss him out, and why we weren’t more sceptical and less trusting. Marco had no obviously apparent life outside activism. We never met his family or his supposed mates who shared his passion for rock music, although he would at times claim to be away at gigs out of town. He told us he had no wife and/or kids. His house was fairly spartan and his job as a truck driver also allowed him an excuse to be away for prolonged periods without arousing suspicion. Also, despite a stated desire to be ‘where the action was’ he was very reluctant to get his hands dirty by being an active part of direct action or confrontation with the police. These things all together should have been enough to at least get us asking questions.

We may well have been a bit naive, particularly in assuming that we weren’t important enough to be infiltrated. And the man we knew as Marco was very good at deflecting suspicions. He was likeable, personally supportive, funny and very useful to have around. He was, like Mark Kennedy, a driver. He took minutes, wrote, edited and distributed newsletters, made banners, and went to the boring meetings no one else could be bothered with. He was able to exploit people’s vulnerabilities to either get close to them, or make them feel isolated and excluded. He was a very good manipulator.

All of us who were involved with Mark Jacobs are reeling with anger, resentment and guilt. Our failure to see through his charade caused great harm to people both here in Cardiff and across Europe. We are aware that Marco was not the only cop operating, and that the fault, particularly on a European scale, is not all ours. But still, we feel a collective responsibility and sense of failure over our part in this.

Having said all that, we need to look forward, and it is important to learn the right lessons from what has happened. We feel strongly that it is important that the movement does not succumb to paranoia and suspicion. Marco worked hard to sow distrust, dislike and suspicion amongst us, and it was allowing him to do that was perhaps our biggest mistake.

We also feel that it is mistake to paint ourselves as powerless in a situation like this, or to seek sympathy in the media as the victims of an unfair and all-powerful state. We can see how this might be tempting for propaganda reasons, or to win the support of mainstream politicians or the liberal press, but it is ultimately a disempowering act. The actions of the police and the UK state in this affair are disgusting, but not surprising. We, as a group and as a movement, were infiltrated and abused because we took, and encouraged others to take, militant action against a string of colossal injustices. Simply put, we took a determined stand against what we saw as wrong, and every time we were proven right. On the abhorrent war in Iraq; the corrupt and immoral arms trade; the injustices meted out in our names by the G8; and the scandals of man-made climate change, we stand by the rightness of our actions. We reject the authority of the state to tell us how, when and where to make our resistance, and we encourage further struggle and dissent. They come at us because we are strong, not because we are weak.

 

Cardiff Anarchist Network

Known details of Marco Jacobs

email: marcobanjo2000@yahoo.co.uk 

 

MySpace : www.myspace.com/cardiffmarco

 

UK mobile: 07746080139

‘Greek’ number: +306942665880

 

Leave a Comment more...

Mark Cassidy

by on Mar.08, 2011, under Infiltrators, Police

 

Taken from Big Issue in the North, February 2011.

Source: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/02/473378.html

We should have seen him coming.

Mark Cassidy walked into the Colin Roach Centre in Hackney early in 1995. Within weeks he had thrown himself into virtually every area of the centre’s political life and quickly began writing for our internal bulletin and that quarterly magazine sold to the public. As the owner of a van he could also be relied upon to transport people and equipment to meetings and ensure they got home safely afterwards. Always polite and happy to help out he soon became well liked and respected.

But Cassidy wasn’t what he seemed. With recent revelations of undercover police officers infiltrating the environmental movement and sleeping with the enemy, Cassidy’s story only underlines the lesson that political activists who threaten the established order should guard against spies who want to maintain the status quo.

I was elected co-ordinator of the Colin Roach Centre. Named after a young black man shot dead inside Stoke Newington Police Station in 1983 this brought together the once council-funded Trade Union Support Unit and one of Britain’s best known community organisations at the time – Hackney Community Defence Association.

The latter had uncovered serious corruption, with Panorama and World in Action undercover investigations confirming that some officers at the police station were involved in drug dealing.

Many convictions were overturned as a result and people were released from prison and paid compensation. Some of this helped keep the centre open seven days a week to provide support to Hackney’s cosmopolitan community, including many refugees and asylum seekers. The centre was well used and popular amongst ordinary people but less so with the Association of Chief Police Officers, which tried to block the registration of our Defendants Information Services (DIS), which recorded police officers known to have complaints or convictions against them.

A year after the official opening in 1993 the centre was broken into. No serious damage was done and money and expensive equipment was left untouched. Computers though were smashed up and when the local police were phoned it took hours for them to arrive and only a matter of seconds to depart. If the intention was to put a spoke in DIS this failed as the service was for security reasons run from a different location.

London magazine Time Out was unable to gain comment from either the police or security services after a centre spokesperson suggested either might be behind the break-in.

Other activities were also bound to attract attention. The centre was affiliated to the radical anti-fascist group Anti-Fascist Action (AFA), which had organised large demonstrations through a British National Party stronghold in nearby Bethnal Green. Centre members were involved in physically clearing the BNP from its Sunday morning paper selling point at the top of Brick Lane, an almost exclusively Asian neighbourhood.

It was into this often chaotic world that Cassidy came. From my campaigning experience it was unusual for someone to simply walk in – most people start their involvement after meeting someone or attending an event. He claimed to have seen TV coverage of a demonstration by the families of people killed at the hands of the police, and radical lawyer Gareth Pierce speaking afterwards, and wanted to get involved. He had come down from his hometown of Birkenhead to continue working as a builder and didn’t know many people locally.

Within a year he had found himself a long-term partner Alison (not her real name) who was also active in the centre. He was elected to chair the Brian Higgins Defence Committee. Higgins was a radical building worker who had suggested that workers were not being properly defended by their union, UCATT. A union official responded by suing him for libel. Cassidy had earlier transported pickets to sites where people had been killed in efforts to stop production. Such actions had infuriated building employers as it cut profits.

Yet by now a few of us were starting to get suspicious. He had never shown any interest in the centre’s work with refugee or asylum seekers or helped run the advice for members of the public. But he had been very keen when it was suggested a delegation was organised to Republican West Belfast to see for ourselves the situation in Northern Ireland. He even volunteered to take his van, although it would inevitably ensure his registration was noted and added to a police computer. He disappeared on the second morning of the visit, arriving back to inform us that he, a Catholic, had taken a walk up the Shankhill Road, a Protestant stronghold.

More importantly no one had ever met any of his family and although he professed to be a supporter of Tranmere Rovers when I went to a couple of games with him he didn’t know any of their fans. It was all a bit odd, but unable and unwilling to challenge him directly I shared some of my concerns with those closest to me and began to ensure that his opportunities to gather information on people and organisations were reduced. A second visit to Belfast was cancelled.

By now though Cassidy was already becoming less active in the centre. He had drifted off to play a more active role in AFA and the associated working-class organisation Red Action. He still visited the centre and could be counted on to assist at active times but slowly dropped away. Then so did Alison, just before the centre closed in 1999.

Having moved soon after to Sunderland to help look after my dad with Alzheimer’s I thought little more of it until I was told that Cassidy had disappeared from home on 11 April 2000. After spending the next day in the offices of Red Action he was next heard of when he rang his Alison and told her he was in Germany. Attempts to trace the call had failed.

His disappearance came after an extended period when he had acted suspiciously, including at times sleeping on the settee in his clothes. Alison had also discovered a credit card in someone else’s name, which he claimed to have bought for £50 in order obtain petrol dishonestly.

Now seriously concerned, Alison then rung his workplace, only to be told that he had left around two or three years previously. Yet he had continued during this time to leave for work at 6.30pm, apparently earning sufficient to be able to go on long holidays to the Middle East and Vietnam. The couple had also visited a counsellor to discuss overcoming his reluctance to have children but had abandoned the visits without him mentioning anything about his family.

When she found out I had expressed reservations about Cassidy two years earlier, Alison contacted me in 2001 to reveal that he had left behind a number of items including a second passport in someone else’s name and a number of photographs. Now happily settled Alison doesn’t want to make them public.

Having been told that Cassidy’s father had been killed in a car accident in Birkenhead in 1975 she checked the deaths register, only to discover the tale was untrue.

Incidents such as when he had ducked down in a frog position with his hands in his ears after a car had backfired suddenly became much more sinister when she realised it was position security officers are trained to adopt if a bomb goes off.

Other centre members began to recall incidents that at the time just appeared a little odd. Taxi driver Jim Kelly recalled that Cassidy had displayed extensive knowledge of events in Ireland during the 1970s even though he wouldn’t have even been a teenager at the time and claimed to be new to political activity. Amanda, an activist, recalled a meeting where threats to attack the centre had been received from the BNP and he had told her he was there as a “shield”.

Since his disappearance over a decade ago nothing has been heard of Cassidy. No one has ever seen him, even at the Tranmere games I have occasionally watched! Attempts by the media to get Alison to go public have failed and I have no wish to involve the authorities by complaining to them.

I feel there’s little point. At the Trade Union Support Unit I worked with Midge a black activist who had left Philadelphia in 1986 after discovering her boyfriend was an FBI agent. So I was always aware such things happened and, as Bernard Porter’s history of the Metropolitan Special Branch, The Origins of the Vigilant State, makes pretty clear the placing of informants inside radical organisations began almost as soon as the organisation was born in 1881.

The trick for those environmental activists, and other in progressive politics, is not to go running to the very people who organise against them but to adopt some simple methods of checking that people really are who they say they are. Sadly that is something I, and others, failed to do with Mark Cassidy.

Leave a Comment more...

Jim Sutton / Boyling

by on Mar.08, 2011, under Infiltrators, Police

Jim Sutton / Boyling

Two articles from The Guardian, 19 January, 2011

Authors given as Paul Lewis, Rob Evan & Rowenna Davis

 

First Article

A police spy married an activist he met while undercover in the environmental protest movement and then went on to have children with her, the Guardian can reveal.

He is the fourth spy now to have been identified as an undercover police officer engaged in the covert surveillance of eco-activists. Three of those spies are accused of having had sexual relationships with the people they were targeting.

The details of the activities of the fourth spy, who is still a serving Metropolitan police officer, emerged as the senior police officer managing the crisis in undercover operations insisted that officers were strictly banned from having sexual relationships with their targets.

Jon Murphy, the chief constable of Merseyside, told the Guardian it was “never acceptable” for undercover officers to sleep with people they were targeting.

“Something has gone badly wrong here. We would not be where we are if it had not,” he said, referring to three inquiries into undercover policing that have been launched in response to the Guardian’s investigation into the first spy, Mark Kennedy, an undercover officer who had several sexual relationships during his seven-year deployment.

Murphy, who is the national lead officer on serious and organised crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, declined to speak about the Kennedy case directly but said officers who infiltrated the environmental movement were not permitted “under any circumstances” to sleep with activists.

“It is grossly unprofessional. It is a diversion from what they are there to do. It is morally wrong because people have been put there to do a particular task and people have got trust in them,” he said.

Meanwhile the ex-wife of the fourth undercover police officer spoke to the Guardian. The woman was married to Jim Boyling, a serving Metropolitan police officer who spent five years living undercover with environmental campaigners between 1995 and 2000.

Using the false identity “Jim Sutton”, Boyling infiltrated Reclaim the Streets, an environmental group famed for bringing streets to a standstill in unruly protests against cars.

During his time undercover, when he is said to have become a key organiser, Boyling met a 28-year-old woman and began a relationship with her. He later disappeared from her life.

It was only when he reappeared a year later that he told the woman he was a police officer. They later married and had two children but divorced two years ago.

Speaking for the first time, the woman gave the Guardian a detailed account of their relationship and alleges that Boyling:

• Encouraged her to change her name by deed poll, apparently to conceal their relationship from his seniors at the Met. Her deed poll certificate is signed by Boyling, who lists his occupation as “police officer”.

• Told her a ruling from seniors that undercover operatives should not have sex with targets was unrealistic, and developing relationships with activists was “a necessary tool in maintaining cover”.

• Only informed a senior officer that he was in a relationship with an activist in 2005, around the time they married using her new identity.

• Named at least two other police officers who served as undercover operatives and indicated other political activists who he believed to be police officers.

Kennedy, who is in hiding in the US, is also believed to have “outed” a fellow spy – an allegation he denies. Police chiefs, who have been unable to establish contact with Kennedy have said any such breach of protocol constitutes “heresy”.

Boyling and the Met were given a detailed account of the woman’s allegations, but neither provided a response. The woman said tonight she hoped her story would reveal how deep infiltration of the protest movement “wrecks lives”. “Everybody knows there are people in the movement who aren’t who they say they are,” she said. “Being too paranoid would hinder everything. But you don’t expect the one person you trust most in the world not to exist.” Senior officers say any suggestion they tacitly allowed operatives to have relationships are unjustified, and argue examples of inappropriate behaviour are rare.

Murphy defended the police tactics of infiltrating the environmental movement today. He said the group had a small number in their midst “intent on causing harm, committing crime and on occasions disabling parts of the national critical infrastructure”. “That has the potential to deny utilities to hospitals, schools, businesses and your granny,” he said.

Senior officers privately admit there was widespread confusion over accountability at the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which ran both Kennedy and Boyling. “We are left to regulate it ourselves and we think we do a good job of it,” said Murphy today. “Sometimes things go wrong, it is a volatile area of police work.”

 

Second Article

Ex-wife of police spy tells how she fell in love and had children with him

· Police spy encouraged ex-wife to change name to keep cover

· He allegedly identified other undercover police to her

Environmental campaigners had been invited to the meeting at the Cock Tavern pub in Euston in June 1999. They were members of Reclaim the Streets, a group that had days earlier brought the City of London to a standstill. By chance, two strangers sat next to each other: Jim Sutton, an articulate, if at times moody, 34-year-old fitness fanatic who relished his role as the group’s driver, a function that earned him the sobriquet “Jim the Van”; and Laura, 28, an idealistic activist. Laura (not her real name) did not know that this new acquaintance, a man she would go on to marry and have children with, was in fact Jim Boyling, a police officer living undercover among eco-activists.

Laura has told her story to the Guardian in the hope that it will serve as a warning to police chiefs that their surveillance operation “wrecks lives”.

Her account of how she came to know and love someone who turned out to be a police spy – which is substantiated by official documentation and has not been denied by police – will almost certainly lend weight to calls for a public inquiry, chaired by a judge, into the surveillance of protesters.

“I was reading stories that this was happening to so many other women who were at risk of falling for their lies,” says Laura, who was divorced from Boyling two years ago. “Having got through what I got through with my children I felt I had knowledge that could help other people and that I needed to do that.”

She adds: “The impression in the press was that this was an isolated incident, that it was a really ‘unusual thing’ – but this is not true. I know of multiple cases. We’re talking about a repeated pattern of long-term relationships and, for me at least, the deepest love I thought I’d ever known.”

Her story suggests the collateral damage from a decade-long operation to infiltrate the protest movement is wider than police chiefs had expected. She says the deception that predated their marriage in 2005, with profound consequences for her wellbeing and that of their children, made her feel “like a prostitute; just an unknowing and unpaid one”.

Already, three separate inquiries have been launched following the controversy surrounding Mark Kennedy, a Metropolitan police officer who spent seven years working undercover before turning against his seniors.

In its ongoing investigation into the surveillance operation, the Guardian has identified two other police officers who lived for years in the protest movement.

Boyling, a serving Met officer at the SO15, the force’s counter-terrorism unit, is the fourth. His ex-wife alleges he encouraged her to change her name by deed poll in an unsuccessful attempt to conceal their relationship from senior officers.

Until recently, she says, she was still devastated by what had happened. “I’d been suffering post traumatic stress for a long time,” she says. “I wasn’t even able to recognise my face in the mirror.”

When Laura met the man she assumed was a fellow activist, Boyling had already spent around four years in the protest movement.

Pulling the strings

Andrew James Boyling had adopted the alias “Jim Sutton” around 1995, and initially joined hunt saboteur groups and, according to friends, took part in anti-GM crop protests in Ireland and a “food summit” in Rome in 1996.

According to Laura, who says she had lengthy discussions with Boyling about his deployment during their nine-year relationship – once he had come clean to her, at least – the purpose of his police work was to infiltrate the closed ranks of those figures pulling the strings of Reclaim the Streets.

An environmental group counting anarchists and anti-capitalists among its ranks, Reclaim the Streets was a colourful collective opposed to cars. During its protests, members would block roads and start impromptu street parties. One notorious technique involved either crashing or parking “sacrificial cars” in the middle of traffic, sealing off the road. For police, they clearly constituted a potentially dangerous group of anarchists whose demonstrations had a record of descending into disorder.

Boyling’s operation would prove to be so successful that he played a central organising role behind the so-called Carnival Against Capitalism in 1999, one of the major anti-capitalist demonstrations of the past two decades. Those involved in organising the protest recall that he was “navigator” in a car that had been intended to block Upper Thames Street, in central London, kickstarting a day in which thousands of activists would clash with police.

The woman who was driving the car – purchased for £200 – recalls how Boyling made what at the time appeared to be a stupid error. He left the window open, enabling police to open the door, take off the handbrake, and push the car away.

Confronted over his error, Boyling was said to have replied: “Oh, I forgot.” The protest went ahead anyway, but it was a setback for the activists.

It seems that Boyling’s deployment started around the time of the birth of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which took over the running of police agents embedded in the protest movement in 1999.

Three years later, having returned to uniformed duties, Boyling would receive a letter of commendation from an assistant commissioner at the Met.

The signed certificate noted his “outstanding devotion to duty and determination over an extended period in the investigation of serious crimes”.

It was four months after the Carnival Against Capitalism, in June 1999, after a night in another pub, that Laura says she began to have a meaningful relationship with Boyling. “For the most part while he was undercover we had a blissfully in-love relationship,” she says. “In the beginning I nearly broke it off because it almost felt too strong; he was a perfect blueprint for something I didn’t even know I was looking for.”

By February 2000, Laura says, the pair moved into a flat in East Dulwich, which they adorned with Celtic and African patterned throws. Laura says she became aware Boyling was “under-developed ideologically”. “The thing about Jim is that he never really says much. He seemed to be bright but there seemed to be holes in his political development,” she says.

“He didn’t seem to like putting himself out there and making an effort, which is weird for someone who works in community-based groups.”

Jim the Van was also known as “Grumpy Jim”, and Laura says her boyfriend also raised eyebrows by a seeming reluctance to get involved in a sustainable activist culture, once refusing to help pick up rubbish at a campsite. “He was interested in disrupting, not building, it surprised me but I put down to immaturity.” Despite a slight sense that he did not fit in, Laura never suspected her boyfriend was a police informant – except for on one occasion.

“It’s such a cliche – but it was the way he was cleaning his walking boots,” she said. “I suddenly thought, ‘Who is this intruder?’ – and then I came to and suddenly he was Jim again. It was such a brief moment and it made such little sense that I blanked it.”

But despite their loving relationship, Laura says Boyling’s moods grew increasingly erratic until, in September 2000, he said he was leaving for Turkey, from where he planned to hitchhike to South Africa. He then vanished.

‘He no longer existed’

Confused, Laura says she spent more than a year trying to track him down. She tried to locate his family members – people who, it transpired, did not exist – and then travelled to South Africa. “He no longer existed in physical presence or on paper,” she says. “I didn’t know what to think or what to do.”

Tipped off that Boyling had returned to England and was living in Kingston, Surrey, Laura moved there hoping to find him, she says. But it was a chance encounter, in the bookshop where she was working, that saw them reunited.

“He said: ‘Don’t be angry,’ and I said I wasn’t,” she says. “He asked for a hug and he smelt the same, which was weird. We went for a coffee by Kingston Bridge and he said: “This can’t be, I’m a police officer.” At the time she was “very vulnerable”, she says, as she had used “all my savings trying to find him, and I was very thin, down to 6 stone 12lb”.

She said he refused to leave the police. “He said they would hound him. And I said that if he believed in leaving them, we could run away together and live a normal life anywhere in the world. He agreed.”

Two weeks later, Laura says, she was pregnant. What ensued were, according to Laura, several painful and difficult years in which the pair maintained a relationship while living apart. They would eventually have two children.

“He said he would tell the police what he could get away with and nothing else. He promised me he was no longer working undercover and that there were no more agents in her movement because police had lost interest.”

But Laura said she came to have reason to believe her husband was not being honest. He appeared determined that no one should know about their relationship.

She said he encouraged her to change her name by deed poll, saying that if she did not, there was a danger their address would be discovered and their child – then unborn – put at risk.

The Guardian has seen the deed certificate that confirms the change in name, and lists Boyling, who gave the occupation “police officer”, as a witness.

Laura now believes that Boyling was desperate to hide their relationship from police, and alleges he gave false information to his seniors about their marriage to conceal her activist past.

She also says he encouraged her to cut ties with the activist community and wanted to “train” her in the art of deception. “He said the trick was to have a whole and detailed story but not tell too much of it,” she says.

Boyling, however, may have struggled to balance his two lives.

“He said he missed that [activist] life – he said it was great because it was like being God. He knew everyone’s secrets on both sides and got to decide what to tell who and decide upon people’s fate.”

According to Laura, the classified information Boyling said he had access to included wiretaps of one of her friends in the protest movement and “details of the private lives of activists”, including, she said, information about what was contained in their luggage after they were stopped at passport control.

“Initially he promised me that he was the last officer in my movement and he was pulled out because the police no longer had any interests or concerns there, but that was a lie,” she says.

“I found this out when he insisted we hide on our first visit to Kingston Green Fair [a sustainability event], because he had seen another undercover agent who knew us both and that this man would take it straight back to his superior.”

After their two children were born, the couple married under Laura’s new name in 2005. But it was not until two years later, in 2007, that Laura recalls two of Boyling’s police colleagues visiting their home.

Laura said her then husband told her that he had only recently told one of the men about their relationship. The other, his long-time boss, had only known since 2005. She was told that both officers, to whom she was introduced by name, had worked as undercover agents.

Boyling later named one other supposed activist as a undercover police officer, and gave identifying descriptions of several others, according to Laura. If true, the suggestion that, as well as marrying an activist, Boyling had identified fellow undercover operatives could prove highly damaging for police chiefs, who say the actions of Kennedy are a rare example of “Stockholm syndrome”.

Warning to others

Laura and Boyling’s marriage was officially brought to an end around two years ago, when the pair divorced. Looking back, she believes their relationship should cause serious alarm. Senior police officers tasked with managing the fallout from the Kennedy controversy maintain that sexual relationships with activists are strictly prohibited, and rarely occur. However out of the four undercover police officers identified by the Guardian, three, all men, stand accused of having sex with activists. Two, Kennedy and Boyling, are known to have maintained long-term, meaningful relationships lasting several years.

“Jim complained one day that his superiors said there was to be no more sexual relations with activists anymore – the implicit suggestion was that they were fully aware of this before and that it hadn’t been restricted in the past,” Laura says.

“He was scoffing at it saying that it was impossible not to expect people to have sexual relations. He said people going in had ‘needs’ and I felt really insulted. He also claimed it was a necessary tool in maintaining cover.”

Despite fearing the consequences of speaking out, Laura said she hoped her story would be a warning.

“Everybody knows there are people in the movement who aren’t who they say they are. Being too paranoid would hinder everything. But you don’t expect the one person you trust most in the world not to exist. It wrecks lives. You don’t expect it, especially when you really are not important. I don’t think the Met consider us at all … I find it shocking that so much public money is being spent on that to put members of the public under surveillance.”

Boyling and the Met have been asked to respond to all the allegations about his undercover deployment and subsequent marriage to Laura, but neither has offered comment.

 

Leave a Comment more...

Lynn Watson

by on Mar.08, 2011, under Infiltrators, Police

ActivistSecurity.org statement on Lynn Watson

Earlier this week it was reported in The Guardian [1] that the Leeds based activist known as “Lynn Watson” had been an undercover police officer serving with the CIU/NPIOU – the police unit that places infiltrators in protest movements. As the only public report of this came from a mainstream newspaper and had no follow up statement there has been doubt expressed in some quarters as to whether she was an undercover policewoman or not.

Recently, our collective have had a chance to speak to various individuals involved with the story in order to understand and confirm it.

It is not our intention to give a full account of Lynn’s activities, though it is now known that she was involved between 2004-2008, including groups such as Trident Ploughshares, Clown Army, the mobilisation around the G8 at Gleneagles, the Drax Climate Camp and The Common Place social centre [2]. The email address she used was watwatson@hotmail.com and possibly watwatson@gmail.com – these are now known to be active until relatively recently.

Lynn was not ostentatiously present in the way that other infiltrators were, and provided considerable practical help to groups. She lived in outer Leeds before moving to the more central location of Hyde Park. This house was privately rented. She claimed to be a care worker, temping through an agency, so she was a way for several weeks at a time.

In 2008 Lynn left Leeds, moving to Coventry with her partner “Paul”. At the time friends were not suspicious and thought that this was simply her moving on to another stage of her life. She continued to be in regular contact. In May 2008 she said she was moving to Lithuania with Paul who had a job there. She would be there for several months before planning to move once more, this time to the US for two years, again due to Paul supposedly getting work there.

It was after the supposed move to Lithuania that contact dropped off dramatically and suspicions began grow. Initially, people who had considered her a close friend were worried that she was in trouble and tried to contact her. Lead after lead turned up negative. Paul, supposedly a photographer in Coventry, could also not be contacted or identified, despite considerable effort being expended on this. Likewise the story of another boyfriend, a locksmith from Northampton could not be confirmed.

It was only at this point that people’s suspicion were aroused that she might have not been all that she seemed to be. An analysis of what was known about her threw up circumstantial evidence that her story was leaking in various places. However, in all of this, there was no definitive piece of evidence that she was a police officer. Thus, there was a decision not to go public. Where it was known that those who had been involved closely with her could were potentially at risk, they were informed of the suspicions.

Lynn was subsequently twice encountered by chance in the South West of England. She was friendly enough and indicated that she was still with Paul though he may have been in some sort of trouble. Attempts to keep in touch with her continued to fail.

The ActivistSecurity.org collective believes that in the light of the evidence the group had at the time that this was the correct approach to take. There was no way to be certain, and while there was some circumstantial evidence warranting suspicion it was all indirect and constructed from holes rather than concrete events. That is not sufficient to justify a formal statement, being little better than rumour-mongering. Warning people who might be at risk that there was a question to be asked, but keeping the rumour mill in check was responsible behaviour.

When Mark Kennedy / Stone was exposed, he was asked about Lynn and he replied that she was in the same unit as he was. Mark was one of those who knew of the suspicions around Lynn, and given that he had just spent seven years lying to people it was not known if his word could be trusted or not. ActivistSecurty concur, in that while it added weight to the body of suspicion, the word of a copper against another should not be taken at face-value. While there has been various reports in the media of Mark having ‘gone native’ with the implication that his word could be relied upon, that is pure speculation.

It seems that The Guardian had independent knowledge of Lynn as well, but not enough to go public without risk of libel. This changed with the collapse of the Ratcliffe 6 “deniers” trial and the subsequent media furore. The Guardian appears to have then obtained the confirmation they needed from the police, gave her the time to be extracted and then named her alias with a photo of her. Her career as an undercover is now effectively over, something we have no problem with. We are told that a leading police officer went to the journalists house to ask that her identity was not immediately released to give time for her to be extracted, would also, if true, add strength to this.

As well as Lynn, people have had suspicions in regards to her last known partner, “Paul”. While, again, is no definitive proof, his continued role in Lynn’s cover story for her ‘extraction’, his untraceability and given that people did actually have suspicion of him at the time he was introduced to them as her partner, we believe that enough of a cloud hangs over him that his photo should be published. If someone knows who he is we are interested in hearing more. If they wish to dispute why his photograph should be removed published we will listen to arguments and re-consider our decision if necessary.

Ideally a statement would have be put out at the same time as the Guardian’s initial expose. This is perhaps a lesson to be learned from. In a number of cases, those investigating have been a small, ad hoc group of people formed for the purpose rather than a formal group with an established identity. This has meant that the main repository for stories and release has been Indymedia UK, something which leads to difficulty in verification of how true things are – the same occurred with Matthew Gibbons, Mark Stone, etc.

It is also important that a vacuum is not created in which all sorts of disinformation and dangerous speculation takes place. This is a short coming of the protest movement as a whole. ActivistSecurity is interested in examining this issue further and is interested in receiving comment on how this might happen.

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/19/undercover-police-officer-lynn-watson?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/12/second-undercover-police-officer?intcmp=239

[2] https://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/472363.html

http://sheffield.indymedia.org.uk/2011/01/472317.html?c=on

 

Leave a Comment more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Archives

All entries, chronologically...