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is the number that carries the most occult significance.
Throughout Europe it has historically been regarded as an ill
omen. In Norse mythology,
the number 13 often signifies death. Today, in the United Kingdom, there exists a paramilitary unit
called Group 13. The sole
purpose of this ultra secretive unit is deniable assassination and it
operates in the world of shadows.
So little is known about them, that it is exceptionally hard
to document its activities with any certainty.
individual - a former civilian undercover agent for the security services,
recounted his story of a encounter with Group 13.
Gary Murray, author of “Enemies of the State” had decided to
research Group 13 to write a book on them.
He soon changed his mind.
One day during his research phase he was forcibly dragged in
to the back of a Transit van and had a gun stuck to his head.
A voice told him it would be unwise to continue his project. Sensibly, he decided to abandon the project and instead write
a book on an altogether different subject.
13 is generally believed to have evolved from former SAS soldiers and
Security and Intelligence operatives who were once active in Northern
Ireland during the mid to late nineteen seventies when a Labour Government
was still in power. Fred
Holroyd, a Captain in British Army Intelligence, served in Northern
Ireland during this period. Holroyd
was tasked with developing informers and other human intelligence sources
connected to the IRA. It
was inherently dangerous work, made a lot worse by a viscous turf battle
between MI5 and MI6 for control of the Northern Ireland “patch.”
grew increasingly nasty as “assets” for each of the two contending groups
were tossed to the wolves. Holroyd,
when interviewed, outlined some details of this dirty war, recalled
incidents where bombs were placed by one of these factions and then
roundly blamed on the IRA. Holroyd’s
story and later disgraceful treatment at the hands of the British Army
are recounted in his book “War without Dishonour.” Holroyd’s
account sheds light on the so called “Shoot to Kill” policy in Northern
Ireland that resulted in the dysfunctional investigation of former senior
police officer, John Stalker.
This investigation ultimately resulted in the gripping feature
film: Hidden Agenda.
Special Air Service was formed during WW11 by David Stirling with the
intention to operate behind enemy lines and to perform acts of sabotage
and assassination. By 1969,
the SAS had been sent to Northern Ireland to perform covert operations
against the IRA - which included assassination.
To cover their deployment to this politically sensitive area
they chose the guise of “training teams.”
A succession of cover names was used over the next few years;
these included the Military Reconnaissance Force (MRF), the 14th
Intelligence unit, and the Four Field Survey Troop, Royal Engineers.
Fred Holroyd states that the latter was very definitely a SAS
undercover unit stationed at the Royal Engineers base at Castiledillon,
was a critical year in British politics.
It saw the election victory of the Labour Party in February and
was soon followed by rumours of an impending coup d’etat. Right wing groups operating in the shadows of power began to
form themselves. These
groups saw Premier Harold Wilson and certain members of his Cabinet,
as no holds barred communists taking orders from Moscow.
The idea that Wilson was a communist mole is, even by today’s
paranoid delusions, a farcical belief.
At that time, however, planning for a right wing coup was seen
by these extremists as the only alternative to keeping Britain from
the wily grasp of Moscow. One
of these groups was named GB75, and was organised by David Sterling,
founder of the SAS. Significantly, GB75 and the other groups had close contacts
to the British security and intelligence community, from which they
probably received some form of unofficial succour.
in 1970 was another mysterious group which called itself Resistance
and Psychological Operations Committee (RPOC).
RPOC was established in line with the Reserve Forces Association
and was said to be a reflection of the Special Operations Executive
(SOE) - a WW11 dirty tricks operation.
According to one former member, RPOC had a clandestine section
which formed an underground resistance movement in the event Russia
invaded the United Kingdom. With
a nod and a wink of the Conservative government of the day, it forged
close links to the British security and intelligence apparatus, and
“…formed close links with the SAS…own secret intelligence network.”
is known of the SAS’s secret intelligence network, apart from one enlightening
is not possible to say with any certainty that this group - or elements
within it - evolved to become Group 13.
However, the associations are clearly similar. Both are highly unofficial but desirable to certain factions
within government. Both
are said to be responsible for political assassinations both in Northern
Ireland and elsewhere. Both
appear to lean towards right wing agenda’s.
the best known incident that involved the SAS in a “wet operation” was
the assassination of an IRA unit in Gibraltar in 198… which subsequently
led to the explosive TV documentary Death
on the Rock. The controversy
surrounding this event raged for years, with the Sunday Times Insight
Team leading the attack on the credibility of eye-witnesses who
claimed the three members of the IRA unit were gunned down in cold blood.
Placed in context against the numerous SAS assassinations which
took place in Ireland during this same period, it is hard to lend much
credence to the official story of cock-up.
some interest is the statement of former CIA operative and former member
of an American based, international assassination team, Gene “Chip”
Tatum. The team, Tatum
says, is called Pegasus
and operates around the world.
Targets are normally influential politicians and financiers.
Over a period of several months, Tatum has revealed a number
of the operations he claims he was involved in, as well as revealing
names of those at senior level he alleges are behind Pegasus activities.
In recent correspondence, he alleges that the British end of
Pegasus was operated during the mid-eighties by a high ranking British
operation that carries SAS hallmarks was the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher
outside the Libyan Peoples Bureau in London in 1984. This killing caused immense public outrage and quickly led
to the ousting of the Libyan diplomatic Corp.
In a courageous piece of television, Channel Four broadcast a
Dispatches programme in 1996 that suggested WPC Fletcher was murdered
by elements inside British and American intelligence.
Amongst other startling facts, the programme makers stated that
the shot that killed the police officer may have been a “terminal velocity”
round. This technique both
reduces the sound of the gunshot as a result of its sub-sonic speed,
and creates the impression that the shot was fired from considerable
distance. It is a known technique of SAS snipers.
may also be other connections between Group Thirteen and the United
States intelligence community.
J. Orlin Grabbe, an American Professor who runs his own financial
advisory service, has in recent years earned a reputation within internet
“conspiracy” circles as being well informed about a number of illegal
intelligence operations. One
of these focus on the alleged assassination of Vincent Foster, a close
associate and legal adviser to President Clinton.
a former professor at Wharton Business School, in one of his internet
posts alluded to the existence of a highly secret US assassination team
that operates out of the National Security Agency (NSA).
The unit, Grabbe claims, is called “I-3.” In a recent communication he added that the information on
this unit was provided by a “former CIA agent with the CIA’s highest
security clearance.” It
may just be a coincidence that this NSA unit shares a common name with
“Group 13” and just happens to also be in the same line of business.
However, in the closed world of the intelligence community such
“coincidences” should be viewed carefully.
the stiff secrecy and widespread smoke and mirrors that surround the
activities of Group 13, some significant additional information came
to light following the Scott Enquiry into the arms to Iraq affair. Gerald James, the former Chairman of Astra Holdings Plc - a
leading British munitions manufacturer - has written of his knowledge
surrounding group 13 in his explosive book In
the Public Interest, which blows the lid on British government involvement
in arming Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.
a lengthy interview, James outlined how he had been ousted from the
Board of Astra. He believes
his removal was orchestrated by non-executive director Stephan Kock,
a self acknowledged former Security and Intelligence officer in the
employ of Midland Bank Plc. James,
thereafter, undertook to learn more about the mysterious Kock
In written evidence presented to the House of Commons Trade and
Industry Committee looking into exports to Iraq, on 5 February 1992,
James stated that he was told, in an unguarded moment, that Kock was
“… a former head of ‘Group 13.’
This curious organisation is apparently a hit or contract squad
for the Foreign Office and Security Services.”
James adds “The Foreign Office is said to draw Group 13 operatives
from the SAS as well as from private security firms,” and that “It’s
duties involve ‘service to the nation.’”
James also makes clear that Kock had exceptional high level contacts
inside the intelligence community, and that boasted of his ready access
to the highest levels of the British government, including 10 Downing
Foreign Office reference, clearly indicates an MI6 connection.
Known also as the Secret Intelligence Service
- a name well known by lovers of Bond movies - MI6 activities
come under the control of the Foreign Office.
Perhaps the now infamous “007” License to Kill pedigree has moved
from those fictional men in black bow ties and Tuxedo’s, to those all
too secretive men in camouflage smocks and shoulder patches inscribed
“Death from Above.”
of British Assassination
sanctioned murder is as old as the hills.
British exposure to many assassination techniques would have
been gained during the Crusade’s, when British Knights came into contact
with Middle Eastern religious sects specialising in these techniques.
The word Assassin derives from the Arabic “hassas” meaning “hashhish
eater” signifying those who were sent to murder Christian leaders were
under the influence of the drug Hashhish.
Other contacts would have come from Britain’s prolonged rule
over India. An Indian religious
sect known as “thugees” specialised in strangulation, and gave rise
to the still common term “thug.”
Still other associations arose during British contacts with killer
sects during the Chinese “Boxer Rebellion.”
13 - unlucky for some
insiders allege that Russia, during the height of the cold war, operated
its own assassination squad under cover of the KGB’s “Department 13.”
This has led some observers to muse that British and US adoption
of number “13” for “Wet Operations” may be an insider’s joke.
Those assassinated might fail to see the humour.
One such individual, Dr. Gerald Bull - designer of the ill-fated
Supergun - was shot from behind, outside his apartment in Brussels,
in early 1990. Rumoured to be an Israeli hit, sources close to Israeli’s “Mossad”
deny this. A few months
before his assassination, Bull, writing to a colleague, stated he was
“advised in a letter of an imminent accident.”
Bull identified the threat as having come from Foreign Office
- who responded by saying the “action was by ‘a few irresponsible
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