The IRA ordered that a senior member who was later revealed to be a suspected informant be shot for running a brothel with loyalists in the 1970s, according to a new book.
Former British soldier John Joe Magee has become a leading figure in the IRA’s internal security unit, known as the “nutting squad”.
His role was to root out and interrogate informants and agents – many of whom were later shot dead.
Magee, who is believed to have died in 1994 at the age of 65, worked closely with the agent known as Stakeknife.
He has been named as Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci, although he denies this claim.
Stakeknife’s activities are currently under investigation as part of Operation Kenova, led by former British police chief Jon Boutcher.
A new book, Agents of Influence: Britain’s Secret Intelligence War Against the IRA, indicates that Billy McKee, an IRA veteran, is believed to have ordered Magee to be shot in 1977.
McKee died in 2019.
It is claimed that Magee was “seriously suspicious” in the 1970s and was suspected of running a brothel on Falls Road with two loyalists.
All three were to be targeted, while two sex workers were to be shot in the leg.
Author Dr Aaron Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Defense and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and Honorary Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester.
He spoke to various sources, including former Republicans, British intelligence officers and state officials.
It is claimed that former Belfast Republican Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes also had serious reservations about Magee and believed his Distillery Street apartment was bugged.
Agents of Influence: Britain’s Secret Intelligence War Against the IRA is published by Merrion Press and on sale now.