THE REAL IRA
Flows as MI5, FBI and the Garda use American for Incredible "Sting
Not many people outside of the intelligence community will have known
too much about a man called David Gary Rupert. Yet the 6ft 4 inches giant
who claims to have German and Mohawk indian blood in him has been at the
centre of one of MI5s most daring operations.
David Rupert was to many in republican circles a modest and mysterious
American character, often flying in from the US to deliver funds raised
for jailed prisoners or republican organisations.
Weighing in at over 20 stones he first surfaced at a IFC (Irish Freedom
Committee) meeting in Chicago in 1997. He introduced himself as a lorry
driver with no fixed address. He told members at the meeting that his
real name was Scott Post. Born in Madrid, New York State he was regarded
as a rebel and a loner. As a young man he went from one job to another
and even crossed the Atlantic and obtained a tenancy on a bar in County
Leitrim. After that he returned to the Chicago area and bought a lorry,
hoping to shift haulage across the vast network of roads that cross America.
All along however he mixed with Irish dissidents and fund-raisers in Chicagos
huge Irish population.
Somewhere along the line he became disillusioned and sold his truck. He
was a well-known figure at meetings and became the talk of the IFC. Many
believed he had contacts that wended their way to the very top of organisations
like Sinn Fein and the IRA. The groups were very suspicious of US intelligence,
especially the FBI who they referred to as the "FRONT for BRITISH
INTELLIGENCE." Amazingly they couldnt have been more correct.
MI5 had successfully tracked US fund-raising efforts to certain US citizens
and groups through bank accounts. But they needed more information. Together
with the FBI and Irish security police, they spoke to Mr Rupert who agreed
to work for them as a double agent. It was a major coup.
Throughout the last four years he has supplied intelligence on fundraising,
bank accounts, and recruiting campaigns. He "networked" between
various rival factions and was so trusted he eventually befriended members
of the Real IRA and several political organisations, such as the 32 County
Sovereignty Committee. Similarly, he was befriended by Martin Galvin,
a New York lawyer and the head of Noraid, the American fundraising arm
of the Provisional IRA. Rupert was given codes and access to various associated
groups and learned of leading personnel on both sides of the Atlantic.
As Rupert forwarded donations to Ireland and elsewhere, MI5, the FBI and
the Garda were carefully following the transactions, collecting details
of every bank account the money was channelled through. In 1999 Rupert
met with Michael McKevitt, who MI5 believe is the head of the Real IRA.
Mr McKevitt is said to have introduced Rupert to other leading players
in the group. And, according to sources, he handed over a £10,000
donation to cement relations.
Rupert told the Garda that the organisation was planning a series of top-level
meetings at a certain location. The Irish security services planted listening
devices and surveillance equipment in the room. Much evidence was apparently
acquired and then the Garda asked MI5 and the FBI if it was time to act.
The agencies mind was made up for them when Rupert said McKevitt had allegedly
asked him to participate in a terrorist act. The Garda said that if they
arrested McKevitt, Rupert would have to testify and this meant blowing
his cover. MI5 knew they were about to lose one of their most important
agents, but the prize they believed was worth it. Rupert agreed to testify
for a massive sum of money and a new identity. He was also relocated.
The Garda swooped and arrested Mr McKevitt and charged him with "direct
paramilitary operations." The trial is expected to take place in
September at a special criminal court in Dublin. Since then the Garda
has hinted that they have a "secret weapon" in the trial, undoubtedly
a reference to the 49-year-old Rupert.
The Real IRA have been accused of the Omagh bombing in 1998, which resulted
in the deaths of 29 people. There most audacious attack was the rocket
strike against the SIS headquarters in London last year.