British military intelligence systems in Northern Ireland

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The British military exploited a number of information sources during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Military context[edit]

By 1994 the British military, intelligence and police apparatus in Northern Ireland had over thirty-seven separate intelligence gathering computer systems operating. Their focus was detection before, during and after paramilitary activity, with a particular focus on the activities of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).

System claims[edit]

Vehicle tracking[edit]

Geraghty claims that a system called Op Vengeful was used to identify vehicles associated with a subject of interest and linked to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency of Northern Ireland. Vehicle Registration Numbers (VRN) associated with persons of interest were recorded on a card index system maintained by Intelligence Sections deployed at Coy level throughout the Province and those operating Vehicle Check Points would be informed as to what checks should be conducted on the driver, occupants and vehicle - " Stop Three" was the code word used to identify a vehicle of particular interest and scrutiny. Intelligence Operators had a direct line to the DVLA at Coleraine who would give details as requested. The system predated Computers - hence the need to obtain information by landline from the DVLA and was in use from 1971 until 1980 when Local Data Bases replaced the Phone and paper system.

Subject of interest information collation[edit]

Geraghty claims that a system called Crucible was used to consolidate items of information about individuals including personal details, imagery, mapping, movements and activities. He alleges that this system was later replaced by a modernised system called Caister with some 350 terminals throughout the province operating at the secret level.

Automated vehicle tracking[edit]

Geraghty claims that in 1997 the Vengeful system was connected to a camera network called Glutton that would automatically track the movements of vehicles identified as being related to subjects of interest. Geraghty claims that there were eighty overt and twenty covert camera locations in Northern Ireland and further deployment of camera equipment in Britain.

In 1997 an analysis system called Effigy was integrated with Vengeful under a project titled Mannequin allowing more detailed analysis of the vehicle movement data.

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