Stockbroker Mike Logan turned smuggler got thrill from deadly dealings
The IRA couldn't believe their luck when they met Mike Logan. A millionaire Ferrari-driving stockbroker, he started sending arms to the Provos in 1995 in a dangerously effective one-man US operation.
Third-generation Irish, he made friends with prominent republicans during his visits to Ireland. From the US, he posted guns hidden in children's toys - mainly fire engines. "I'd go to gun shows across the US with pocketfuls of cash and buy whatever I wanted for Spike," he told me.
Along with more than 200 handguns, Logan also sent the IRA powerful munitions capable of bringing down military helicopters and penetrating PSNI Land Rovers, killing all personnel inside.
"I sent them .50 calibre shells called Raufoss rounds," he boasted. "They were used to annihilate miles of Saddam Hussein's tanks in Iraq. They penetrate the vehicle they're fired at, then explode and ignite. They can incinerate everything and everybody inside."
"I sent (20 of) them to Spike. He was delighted with them," Logan claimed. "He told me he'd personally tested one on a scrap car down South. He said, 'Wow, they're good. They really do the business.' There are still 19 of these rounds out there. Somebody in Ireland has them."
Logan began visiting Ireland after the 1981 hunger strike. He started gunrunning aged 40. He admitted to getting a buzz from his deadly activities. "I liked living on the edge. People have always said that about me," he said.
In what appears to be a major security lapse, he never came to the security forces' attention. "I would go to riots. Spike wouldn't be pleased because he wanted me to keep a low profile. He'd say disapprovingly, 'I hear you were in Ardoyne last night'."
Logan said that Murray presented him with a huge Celtic harp made by IRA prisoners as a token of the Provos' gratitude. His gunrunning ended after his accomplices were caught.
Murray had sent west Belfast man, Conor Claxton, to join the operation. Claxton recruited three other people in Florida but was careless in his methods and the Florida Four were arrested by the FBI.