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WikiLeaks: BBC report prompted angry Orde to complain to the Prime Minister

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Sir Hugh Orde

Sir Hugh Orde

Sir Hugh Orde

Sir Hugh Orde was so angered by a BBC news report that he contacted the Prime Minister directly to complain.

Leaked cables detail how the former PSNI chief reacted furiously to the report on special forces being redeployed in Northern Ireland.

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment was sent in to curb the growing dissident threat, amid warnings from MI5 of an imminent terrorist attack.

Within days of the threat level being raised, two soldiers were shot dead outside Massereene barracks.

In a briefing with consul officials following the murders, Sir Hugh (below) praised the US administration’s reaction to the attack.

He also referred to the BBC report, adding that he had complained to Prime Minister Gordon Brown about “inaccurate” claims that Chinooks and military patrols would be deployed as part of the operation.

The incident is referred to in a confidential cable written by Henry Bisharat, the Acting Consul General, and released by WikiLeaks.

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“Orde also criticised the BBC for its inaccurate report of his use of a small number of military specialists to help obtain intelligence concerning dissidents,” it stated.

“The BBC had inaccurately asserted that military patrols and Chinooks would be used.

“Orde said he complained directly to Prime Minister Brown that morning about the BBC's unhelpful reports, and that Brown had agreed with him.”

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment is a highly secretive unit, and its operations are more strictly classified than those of the SAS.

It carries out surveillance and intelligence work, mainly in preparation for SAS operations.

All troops had been removed from active duty in Northern Ireland two years earlier as part of the peace process.


Click here to visit our WikiLeaks section and read more


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