Intelligence and Security Group (NI)

From Wikispooks
Jump to: navigation, search

Intelligence and Security Group (NI) was a cover name for at least two closely related British Army intelligence units in Northern Ireland.

Real Units

As with other military cover names used in Northern Ireland, such as NITAT discussed below, there were real Intelligence and Security Groups in England and Germany.[1] These were Intelligence Corps units according to Mark Urban, who states that the German unit took part in Operation WARD.[2]

Special Reconnaissance Unit

A briefing prepared for Harold Wilson in 1974 states the Special Reconnaissance Unit operated in Northern Ireland under the cover name Northern Ireland Training and Advisory Teams (Northern Ireland) (NITAT (NI).[3] According to Mark Urban, HQNI became concerned that the NITAT name was becoming too well-known, and replaced it in 1978/9 with the name Intelligence and Security Group (NI). This in turn was replaced with the name 14 Intelligence and Security Company in the early 1980s.[4]

"The Group"

According to Urban, Intelligence and Security Group (NI) was later adopted as a cover name for a structure that was initiated under Commander Land Forces (Northern Ireland), Maj. Gen. James Glover, and which became operational under his successor Maj. Gen. Charles Huxtable in late 1980/early 1981.[5]

Urban suggests this reflected a shift in emphasis from ambushing IRA members to surveillance with a view to prosecution.[6] It may also reflect the fact that the RUC's role was being expanded at the expense of the Army.[7] The re-organisation was intended to ease the pressure on the SAS which had been deploying a full squadron to Northern Ireland, with one troop for each of three brigade areas and a fourth in reserve, and to strengthen its relationship with the 14 Intelligence Company).[8]

The new Intelligence and Security Group (NI) was also referred to as 'Int and Sy Group' or simply 'The Group'. It combined 14 Intelligence and the SAS contingent under a single commander. The SAS element was reduced to a single reinforced troop of some 20 men, available for deployment anywhere in Northern Ireland. The activities of the new group were co-ordinated with the RUC through the latter's Tasking and Co-ordination Groups.[9]

According to Tony Geraghty, the FRU also became a part of Intelligence and Security Group.[10]

References

  1. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.39.
  2. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.39.
  3. Defensive Brief D Meeting between the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach 5 April 1974 Army Plain Clothes Patrols in Northern Ireland, National Archives PREM 16/154.
  4. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.39.
  5. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.139.
  6. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.138.
  7. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, pp.146-147.
  8. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.138.
  9. Mark Urban, Big Boys, Rules, Faber and Faber, 1992, p.139.
  10. Tony Geraghty, The Irish War, Harper Collins, 1998, p.155.