Belfast Telegraph

SAS veteran Andy McNab fears he is next in Army killings 'witch-hunt'

'It was a war. A really grubby and difficult war'

By Claire McNeilly

Andy McNab has said he believes "it is only a matter of time" before he is dragged into the so-called witch-hunt probe into Northern Ireland killings.

The 56-year-old SAS sergeant-turned-author was involved in the deaths of five IRA men during the 1970s and 1980s.

He said: "I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get a letter telling me to come to some police interview, or turn up in court at such and such a time. I have zero to hide, because we did the right thing - we will not be victims here."

McNab, then aged 19, shot suspected terrorist Peadar McElvenna during a gunfight in 1979. The details of the other four killings remain classified as they were part of secret SAS operations.

McNab - real name Steven Mitchell - said he now fears the consequences the probe could have on future generations of soldiers. The Bravo Two Zero author told The Sun online: "Will it lead to a generation serving now who will be too frightened to take difficult decisions?

"It was a war. A really grubby and difficult war."

McNab's comments come after an investigation into 302 killings by soldiers was described as "a witch-hunt" by angry MPs and furious military chiefs.

It will mean as many as 850 UK veterans, many now aged in their 70s, being probed as potential murder or manslaughter suspects over actions they took decades ago.

The PSNI confirmed it was to "re-examine all military cases" to make sure the original investigations were properly carried out.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, head of the PSNI's Legacy and Justice Department, said the decision to launch reviews was first made after a report by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2013 that raised concerns about previous military investigations. "There is no new probe into military cases," he said.

"Out of the 1,615 reviews of homicides completed by HET, 398 would be regarded as having military victims and none would be regarded as being attributed to the military," he said.

"Of the 942 HET cases still outstanding, which now sit with Legacy Investigation Branch, 139 would be regarded as having military victims and 238 would be regarded as being attributed to the military."

Belfast Telegraph

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