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Inside A Terrorist Group - The Story Of The SNLA
By David Leslie

Chapter One


I first came into contact with the Scottish National Liberation Army in March 1995. I am an Englishman. I had recently been transferred to begin working as the senior investigative journalist at the Glasgow offices of the "News Of The World", where the newspaper's Scottish edition is produced.

The Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA) had just sent a number of letter bombs to British Labour party targets, including Tony Blair MP and George Robertson MP.

The letter bombs, which were timed to coincide with the Labour party's Scottish conference in Inverness, had created a minor sensation in Scotland and beyond. I was writing an article about the incidents when a member of the newspaper's staff informed me that a former member of the SNLA had just telephoned an anonymous message to the newspaper. He had condemned the attacks and criticised the SNLA itself.

This gave me a small unique angle and I included a brief report of the disgruntled former SNLA member's statement in the article which the "News Of The World" carried the following day.

The following week when I returned to work I was surprised, and a little startled, to receive a telephone call from an anonymous member of the SNLA. The caller asked for me by name and proceeded to question me about details of the telephone call received previously from the former member of the SNLA. For example, had the previous caller used a codeword?

I replied giving what little detail I knew, which wasn't much, and my caller seemed satisfied, politely thanking me for my trouble, and preparing to ring off.

I was a little surprised that a member of what is usually described as an extreme anti-English organisation should be so courteous to an Englishman like myself, and on impulse I intimated that as a professional investigative journalist I was interested in getting more information about the organisation and its activities. The caller replied that any information they gave out was only in the form of brief communiqués, and that the "News Of The World" might receive them in future. Then he rang off.

Since then the "News Of The World" has received many SNLA communiqués, and I have done a great deal of research into the Scottish National Liberation Army.

The results of that research form the contents of this book.

One of the many sins of the Scottish Establishment has been its incredible ability to engage in self-deception where the Scottish National Liberation Army is concerned.

For example, the Scottish media routinely describes the Scottish National Liberation Army as essentially a one-man band or, in contradiction, as a bunch of amateurish fantasists.

But a number of people have been convicted of SNLA activities over a period of twenty years, the SNLA has carried out effective direct attacks on British interests on two different continents, and the SNLA has a known interest in Weapons Of Mass Destruction, as well as an innovative approach to techniques of bringing disruption and chaos to the British State. All this is totally ignored as a matter of policy.

The SNLA, for example, was using hoax Anthrax letters against British targets in the USA in an experiment at least as early as November 2000, and pioneered the use of the Anthrax hoax technique in the UK before the technique became known and "popular" shortly after the September 11th attacks.

The SNLA was also experimenting with the toxin Ricin in the UK long before the existence of the toxin became widely known to the general public in the UK, or even to the British police, and it has an unhealthy interest in, and actual possession of, some extremely nasty unconventional weaponry in its arsenal. Some of these are described in detail here.

As this book will show, the SNLA plans its operations with elaborate care and ingenuity, and executes them with military precision, and the SNLA can be organizationally linked to some of the world's most dangerous terrorist groups, including the Real IRA, Islamic extremists, and the Russian Maoist Party.

There have been so many SNLA attacks, spanning a period of over twenty years, that only a limited number of the more significant or interesting of them can be described in detail.

And I have chosen not to cover the various SNLA trials in depth unless there is particular significance in them. There have been several major trials spanning a period of twenty years, all of which have received widespread coverage in Scotland and beyond, but some of them are now of little more than historical interest.

There are two distinct phases in the development of the SNLA.

The first phase, which covers the period from 1980 to 1995, is concerned mainly with the "traditional" methods of terrorism then employed by the SNLA. The second phase, from 1995 until the present, covers the period during which the SNLA began to show an interest in unconventional weaponry, and in particular in Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD).

And I have devoted a separate chapter to what is now Scotland's greatest mystery, the death-by-shooting of Willie McRae. I have uncovered evidence which links Willie McRae directly to the SNLA, and which, for the first time, publicly reveals the way McRae met his death.

The McRae case is essential to an understanding of the relationship between the SNLA and the British State. It illustrates the fact that the existence of the SNLA has forced the highest authorities in the British State to engineer an elaborate cover up in order to avoid a political scandal which threatens the integrity of the State itself.

As George Robertson MP (now Lord Robertson and former Secretary-General of NATO) stated in the "Herald" on March 15th, 1997, the SNLA has caused havoc and "mayhem". In fact, as this book will show, the British State has already suffered huge economic losses at the hands of the SNLA.

But, despite this, the activities of the SNLA are rarely mentioned by the Scottish or British media, and the SNLA has never been properly assessed or analyzed. Given the dangerous world we live in, I believe this situation is short-sighted and dangerous. The SNLA has already used chemical weapons in the UK (albeit in a limited and I believe purely experimental way).

A recent attempt (March 20th 2005) to place Lead Sulphate (an exceptionally lethal, but simple to manufacture, chemical) in London’s water supply was only very narrowly thwarted. But the SNLA could have killed thousands of Londoners, and permanently contaminated much of London’s water supply system causing economic catastrophe to the UK. What happens if or when another attempt is made successfully?

The SNLA is only a tiny organisation, but it intends to coerce the British State in order to force the British State to concede the SNLA's aims by the threatened or actual use of the Weapons Of Mass Destruction, which the SNLA - as will be demonstrated - undoubtedly possesses. To my certain knowledge the SNLA has experimented with potential WMD, and has perfected at least one type of WMD.

In my personal opinion it may become an even more dangerous force, and, unless certain radical reforms are undertaken, both Scotland and England will be on a head-on course for disaster.

This opinion is not mine alone. The consultant forensic psychologist Ian Stephen, referring to the use of Caustic Soda as a chemical warfare agent by the SNLA, has said that the SNLA campaign is liable to escalate:

"It seems to be a very well-planned exercise...It's a deeply worrying development...It's very dangerous and the worrying thing is that there is no telling where it will stop".

At the time of writing (August 2005) a number of recent incidents bear the hallmarks of SNLA actions. There is no sign that the danger of a full-scale SNLA attack has diminished.

This work is an attempt to understand and hopefully to counter that danger.

It has not been an easy or a particularly pleasant task. Despite my original SNLA contact's formal politeness, I have during this research personally received more than one convincing death threat aimed at myself and at my family.

Nevertheless for the purposes of confidentiality, my main source from within the SNLA is referred to as "Alec" throughout this book. Needless to say, this is not his real name, nor is his real name or identity known to me.

My thanks to all those who have helped with this work, especially those SNLA members and former members who agreed to collaborate, and including those in the media, various police forces, intelligence services and political circles, in the UK and beyond, who have given me assistance in writing this book.

David Leslie
August 2005

Chapter Two

Chronology Of Key Events

1979: A referendum on Scottish Devolution is a failure due to the British government's insistence on a clause in the Bill that at least 40% of all registered voters in Scotland must vote in favour of Devolution.

1980: The Scottish National Liberation Army is formed in December 1980.

1981: The Dark Harvest Commando - a proto-SNLA grouping - acquires Anthrax from the mainland near the Scottish island of Gruinard, which it dumps in contaminated earth at Porton Down biological research station, and at Blackpool where the ruling Conservative party conference is being held.

1982: The SNLA campaign of disruption, letter bombs and arson begins officially on March 1st 1982, the third anniversary of the referendum on Devolution.

1983: SNLA letter bomb and arson attacks continue and escalate. David Dinsmore is arrested and charged in May, and Tommy Kelly is charged in October, with SNLA activities. Adam Busby and David Dinsmore abscond to Ireland in September to avoid prosecution for conspiracy.

1984: Tommy Kelly is sentenced to 10 years in prison for SNLA activities. An SNLA plot to murder Roy Jenkins MP in Glasgow goes badly wrong. Adam Busby avoids extradition to the UK when the High Court in Ireland rules that his alleged offences were political. David Dinsmore, on bail in Ireland, escapes to Spain and then to Brazil to avoid extradition. 

1985: Willie McRae dies after being found shot in a crashed car in North West Scotland. The authorities refuse to hold a public investigation or an inquiry into the circumstances of his death.

1986 – 1992: Various SNLA activities continue, usually at a low key.

1992: The death of Kevin Collison takes place during an SNLA bomb alert.

1993: Andrew McIntosh is jailed for 12 years for an SNLA conspiracy to coerce Her Majesty's Government in order to establish a separate Scottish State. David Dinsmore surrenders to the British authorities in Brazil, and is returned to Scotland to face trial for an SNLA letter bomb offence.

1994: David Dinsmore pleads guilty to a much reduced charge and receives a non-custodial sentence of 240 hours community service. The SNLA launches "Operation Flame" to target mass English immigration. A sustained three year campaign against the British Labour party is also organised.

1995: The SNLA continues to carry out attacks in the UK using the Strategy Of Disruption. Later the SNLA launches "Operation Icarus" to experiment with Weapons Of Mass Disruption (WMD). A viable - but de-activated - blast incendiary device, designed to destroy aircraft in flight, is sent by air from Belfast to London. Four members of the SNLA's Dublin cell are arrested for questioning in Dublin, but released after interrogation. The "Flame" trial takes place in Scotland and two SNLA men are jailed. The Scottish Separatist Group - an SNLA political support group - is formed in October.

1996: SNLA attacks using the Strategy Of Disruption continue unabated.

1997: Adam Busby is jailed in Dublin for two years. SNLA actions using the Strategy Of Disruption continue in the UK. The Labour government of Tony Blair is elected, and a second - and successful - referendum on Scottish Devolution is held.

1999: A Scottish parliament with extremely limited powers is established in Edinburgh. The SNLA carries out bomb alerts in Edinburgh during the opening of the Scottish parliament by the Queen. The "Republican Revenge Group" (RRG) threatens to poison English water supplies in a campaign of Chemical Warfare.

Tony Blair holds an emergency Cabinet meeting and imposes a news blackout. England is in a state of virtual, if undeclared, siege. The RRG is believed to be an alliance between the SNLA and Irish Republican dissidents. A number of homes in Ireland are raided and Adam Busby (SNLA founder) is arrested. He is later released without charge.

2000: The SNLA launches a campaign of Information Warfare (cyber-terrorism). SNLA Anthrax hoaxes disrupt British commercial and diplomatic institutions in the USA.

2001: The SNLA sends hoax Anthrax letters to St Andrews university and other targets in the UK. The SNLA experiments with Ricin. SNLA cyber-terrorist attacks continue and escalate.

2002: Packages with bottles containing Caustic Soda disguised as aromatherapy oils are sent to Cherie Blair - wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair - and to other political figures in the UK. This is believed to be an SNLA experiment to prove the effectiveness of the chemical as a weapon.

2003 - 2004: Threats involving Chemical Warfare agents - believed to have been made by the SNLA - cause massive security alerts throughout the UK. In October 2004 a huge security alert disrupts central Edinburgh before and during the Queen’s opening of the new Scottish parliament building.

2005: An attempt by SNLA activists to place an exceptionally lethal chemical, Lead Sulphate, in the London water supply is only narrowly thwarted when uniformed police stumble on the operation in Mary Street, London, on March 20th.

Chapter Three

The Key Participants

The SNLA is a secret society, and, generally, the names of members and former members are unknown. However, a number of people have been convicted of SNLA activities in the last two decades.

They are:

Tommy Kelly: He was sentenced to serve 10 years for SNLA letter bombing in 1984. Denied parole because he refused to abandon his principles, Kelly served seven years of the sentence.

Andrew McIntosh: He was given a 12 year sentence for an SNLA conspiracy in 1993, in which he used the Strategy Of Disruption extensively. McIntosh was expelled from the SNLA in 1997 for betraying the location of an arms dump to the police. He hoped to get parole in return for his cooperation. He got parole.

Ironically, years later, in 2004, he was arrested with his brother Alan McIntosh, and another man, for possession of these same weapons. He hanged himself in prison.

David Dinsmore: On returning to Scotland from Brazil in 1993 after more than ten years on the run, Dinsmore repudiated the SNLA, and, in 1994, as the result of a deal, he was given 240 hours of community service for a much reduced charge of letter bombing.

Kevin Paton: He received an 18 month prison sentence for his part in the "Flame" conspiracy in 1995.

Terence Weber: Paton's co-accused, he received three years imprisonment for SNLA activities in the "Flame" trial in 1995.

Adam Busby: He received a two year sentence in the Irish Special Criminal Court in 1997. This was for a misdemeanor caused by sending an SNLA communiqué to media outlets in Scotland.

Anndra Padarsan: Convicted of sending death threats to, among others, George Robertson MP, he received a sentence of 3 months imprisonment in 1998.

Hugh Smith McMahon: He received a non-custodial sentence in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin for telephoning a bomb threat to police in Scotland in 1995, causing a major bomb scare near Inverness. His lenient sentence was influenced by the fact that he took legal action to prevent his trial for four years, causing the Irish authorities to seek a quick resolution to the case by offering him a non-custodial sentence. He accepted the sentence in 1999.

Paul Smith: In 2003, he was one of two young men scheduled to stand trial for alleged SNLA offences in Glasgow High Court. These offences related to the threatened use of biological weapons, and the actual use of chemical weapons. Specifically, he pled guilty to sending Caustic Soda to Cherie Blair and another person. He got 3 years imprisonment.

His co-accused was not proceeded against.

In addition to the above, a number of people have been charged with SNLA activities but not proceeded against for one reason or another, although remanded in custody on the charges. Darin Brown, for example, was charged with Weber and Paton in 1994, and was remanded in custody. The charges, to which he admitted, were eventually dropped when he agreed to turn informer in 1995.

Still others have been arrested or questioned on suspicion of SNLA activities over the years but released without charge.

Chapter Four

The Historical Background

For generations there have been small groups of Scots who have been prepared to or who have actually resorted to armed struggle. This book is a detailed study of the most enduring and persistent of them - the Scottish National Liberation Army or SNLA.

Scotland, originally a completely Gaelic speaking country, has been dominated by England for most of its history. Scotland, throughout its history, has been reactive to English influence or domination, and not proactive to the wider world.

The central question in Scottish history has always been how to deal with the larger, dominant and more aggressive English neighbour. In Scotland, there are only two methods of dealing with the "English question": outright resistance or a degree of collaboration

Since 1746 and the defeat of the last great Jacobite rebellion, collaboration has ruled supreme, and has been the dominant force in Scottish politics. Scottish history has been re-written or forgotten, and replaced with an entirely bogus imagery involving Tartanry, and a heather and haggis cultural black hole for a national identity.

The country's national language - Gaelic - has been virtually obliterated, although it is still the key to the Scottish personal and national identity, while all sorts of falsehoods, bogus notions and reactionary ideologies have been deliberately promoted to create and maintain modern Scotland's "British" identity.

For example, Gaelic is still seen as “foreign” by many Scots, who have been encouraged to believe that the natural language of Scotland is English or “Scots” (“Scots” is the collective name for the English dialects spoken in Scotland).

In fact, Gaelic was once the vernacular language of the whole of Scotland. During the middle ages, its use in Scotland was general throughout most of the country. For example, at the coronation of Alexander the Third in 1249, the Latin of the coronation ceremony had to be translated into Gaelic so that the Scottish nobility could understand the proceedings.

Modern research indicates that Gaelic was still the language of the majority of Scots until comparatively recent times. Comparison of Webster’s population survey (1755) with Walker’s linguistic survey (1768) shows that Gaelic was still the majority language north of a line drawn between the Clyde and the Tay, an area that contained more than 60% of the country’s population in 1755.

As a result of this and similar brainwashing, modern Scotland is a backward, passive and reactionary province of England. Passivity in political affairs is the rule.

Scottish nationalism, once a very radical force, was typified by groups like the pro-Gaelic, anti-British, Scottish National League until the 1920s

This situation was completely transformed in 1928 when a section of the Scottish Conservative Party, the Cathcart Conservative and Unionist Association, left the main body of the Tories to form the National Party of Scotland - soon to be renamed the Scottish National Party - a party claiming to advocate some form of Scottish Home Rule. The main motive of the Tories in this was to undermine the Labour party vote in Scotland.

Labour candidates in Scotland stood as Labour and Home Rule candidates until 1945 and received a considerable nationalist vote. The founders of the National Party of Scotland intended to deprive Labour of its nationalist vote. Initially the NPS absorbed some genuine nationalist groups, but these were soon expelled as “extremists”, and the National Party of Scotland united with the even more right-wing Scottish Party and adopted the name Scottish National Party. The sham of modern Scottish nationalism was born.

Essentially an extreme pro-British element had hijacked Scottish nationalism.

The SNP then embarked on a disgraceful campaign against the “Green Terror” of Irish Catholic immigration which was assisted by the support of the more reactionary elements in the Scottish media. This too was largely aimed at Labour as most Irish Catholics were Labour voters. These early fascistic antics of the SNP have been airbrushed out of history by modern SNP partisans.

The Scottish National Party - dubbed the "Tartan Tories" because of their Tory origins – is no longer officially anti-Irish or anti-Catholic – but their essentially pro-British attitudes remain. For example, their attachment to the British monarchy. In ideology they are still closely akin to the Irish Unionists – actively pro-British but keen to preserve their own political influence in their own part of the UK.

The Scottish National Party is also the supreme example of the lack of radical political activism in Scotland. Although the average SNP member is often a person with strong views on the subject of Scottish Independence, the SNP leadership is composed largely of professional politicians with a passive, provincial and essentially pro-British attitude.

Basically the SNP leadership is opportunist and career-oriented. The leadership is also totally in control of a supposedly democratic party. Even the party's newspaper "The Scots Independent" is privately owned and controlled by elements faithful to the SNP leadership.

This bizarre situation results in blatant and often ludicrous contradictions within the SNP. For one thing, if the aim of national self-government or self-determination is taken as the yardstick, the SNP isn't a "nationalist" party at all, because it favours integration into the forthcoming United European State rather than Scottish Independence. Similarly, the SNP has no interest in the issues of language, culture and history - which are the universal hallmarks of other nationalist parties.

In fact, the SNP promotes so-called civic nationalism - which is socially and economically based - in opposition to traditional or "real" nationalism. Perhaps most telling of all, the SNP is also, in the 21st century, a monarchist party, and gives official support to the British monarchy.

Academics have described the SNP as a "pseudo-nationalist" party or as representing "neo-nationalism". This variation of, or alternative to, nationalism is introspective and non-aggressive, and therefore politically irrelevant. In the SNP's case it converges with what Tom Nairn has called cultural sub-nationalism, meaning the docile images reflected in Tartanry and Kailyard.

To the SNLA and other critics, the SNP is simply a party of political careerists which uses nationalist rhetoric to cynically get political support from nationalist voters in Scotland. The SNP are seen as unprincipled political parasites feeding on the genuine national aspirations of the Scottish people. The SNP is an obstacle to genuine Scottish nationalism. (Note 1.)

The SNP is also unique in that, despite more than 70 years of constitutional activity, it has never succeeded in passing or even significantly influencing a single piece of legislation.

Despite the SNP's obvious flaws, there was a steady growth in political nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and most of the benefits of it flowed to the SNP. To counter this, the British Labour government resorted to promises of Devolution, of a Scottish Assembly based in Edinburgh. But the British Labour government's promises were based on cynical political expediency, and there was no serious intention of implementing Devolution.

On the 1st of March, 1979, after years of seemingly endless discussion, when the Scottish electorate finally were allowed to vote in a national referendum on whether to establish a Scottish Assembly, they voted in favour of the Assembly.

But, despite the majority vote for the Scottish Assembly, the Labour government did not establish the Assembly on the technical grounds that less than 40% of those listed on the electoral rolls had voted in favour of establishing the Scottish Assembly.

Since a percentage of the registered voters were dead, were ill, or had moved to other areas where they could not vote, or had simply failed to turn out to vote for a variety of reasons, this outcome naturally caused very deep frustrations in Scotland.

The outcome was widely seen by the people of Scotland as a "betrayal", and as a denial of their legitimate democratic and national rights.

The most immediate obvious response to the referendum result - although by no means the only direct response, for there was a very pronounced upsurge in nationalist militancy throughout Scotland - was the brief and violent campaign waged by the Scottish Republican Socialist League (SRSL).

The SRSL, a tiny Marxist grouping, carried out a series of robberies and bombings in 1979 and 1980. One of the SRSL's most spectacular exploits was to carry out the daring armed robbery of a Post Office van in Glasgow. It is said to have netted the largest haul of stolen cash in Scottish history until then. In another SRSL attack in January 1980 a bomb exploded behind the Stock Exchange building in Glasgow.

However most of the SRSL members were arrested and given very lengthy prison sentences in a sensational conspiracy trial and the SRSL was effectively smashed.

One of the SRSL's associates who escaped arrest was Adam Busby, who later formed the Scottish National Liberation Army, a group which was also formed in direct response to the outcome of the Devolution referendum. He was one of the group’s Intelligence Officers.

Note 1: The distrust of the SNP and the reluctance of nationalist voters to give their votes to the SNP is dramatically illustrated by events in 1992. In January 1992 public opinion polls commissioned by the "Scotsman" newspaper and ITN showed that 50% of Scottish voters wanted Independence. But in the general election of April that year the SNP actually lost seats.

Note 2: It should be noted that the “national movement”” in Scotland only consists of the SNP with a few thousand members, and the Scottish Socialist Party with a couple of thousand members. In addition there are a number of tiny mainly web-based fringe groups – most of which are distinctly infantile.

Only the two political parties could claim to have any more than minimal political influence, and none of the fringe groups are politically active.

Chapter Five

Adam Busby - The SNLA Ideologue

Any account of the SNLA would be incomplete without a detailed examination of the life and work of Adam Stuart Busby, a founder member of the SNLA and its best known member.

Adam Busby, who has masterminded SNLA activities from exile in Ireland for more than twenty years, is a highly intelligent professional revolutionary whose intelligence has been described as "Machiavellian" by his adversaries in the Irish Special Detective Unit (the Irish Special Branch). Perhaps significantly, the Special Detective Unit also refer to him as "Moriarty" (the great omnipotent genius who was the arch-enemy of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes).

Adam Stuart Busby was born into a middle-class family in August 1948. A native of Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, Busby joined the Dumbarton branch of the SNP on his 16th birthday in 1964. Although generally his family had a strong Labour Party affiliation and some were very prominent in Labour circles, Adam Busby had always had strong Scottish nationalist leanings which, constantly developing, became the core of his political beliefs. (Note 1.)

Shortly after joining the SNP, Adam Busby joined an informal Nationalist grouping called "Free Scotland" or, in Gaelic, "Saor Alba". Shortly afterwards, this little group was absorbed into the "Scottish Liberation Army" or SLA.

The SLA was the brainchild of Major F.C. Boothby, a WW2 veteran and a cousin of the famous Tory peer Lord Boothby, and, although born in England of a Scottish family, the Major was a fanatical Scottish nationalist. Major Boothby's movement, the Scottish Liberation Army, had an important formative influence on Adam Busby, although it was a rather different influence than the Major intended to exert on his "troops".

Adam Busby, although only a teenager at the time, noted that the SLA had absolutely no security, no real ideology other than a set of vaguely romantic notions, no revolutionary creed and no politics other than a general support for the SNP. It was, for Adam Busby, a prime example of "how not to do it". Perhaps unwisely, Adam Busby, always forthright in speech and criticism, began to voice his criticisms of the SLA's faults.

Needless to say, the Major was outraged by criticism from the youngster and, somewhat ironically coming from the leader of a paramilitary group, he saw Adam Busby as the potential leader of an "extremist" element within the SLA.

Nevertheless, despite the internal bickering within its own ranks, the SLA was responsible for some small-scale actions - mainly slogan painting campaigns combined with the occasional outbreak of arson - and there were a number of grandiose plans for a national uprising, including "Operation Hub" which was a plan to capture Stirling Castle on Bannockburn Day as the signal for the beginning of the uprising.

However, there was a much more serious side to the Scottish Liberation Army.

The Major, who lived with his artist wife in a remote country cottage in Lanarkshire, used a small quarry nearby to perfect his formidable skills with home-made high explosives, while another member of the SLA, a shopkeeper who had a permit to sell shotgun ammunition, had legally imported solid, rifled shotgun ammunition which was used in Germany to hunt wild boar and deer. (The solid, rifled lead bullet increases the accurate killing range of a shotgun to several hundred yards.)

At the same time, SLA members, of whom there were a considerable number, were instructed to equip themselves with shotguns - which could then be bought cheaply and perfectly legally over-the-counter or by mail order.

There were regular training sessions, usually conducted under the guise of camping trips, during which SLA members underwent training in various paramilitary skills. This included survival skills. The Major, who had thoroughly trained himself in survival skills and guerrilla warfare, maintaining that it was possible to live fairly well for short periods on everyday plants including nettles and dandelions.

SLA members were also encouraged to join units of the Territorial Army or to infiltrate the Scottish regiments of the British Army in order to get training and equipment, and to recruit new SLA members from the British Army's own ranks.

Adam Busby, aged 17, briefly joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in late 1965 as part of this initiative.

Meanwhile, the British authorities were watching the SLA with growing apprehension. The SLA might have had its failings but it did have a veteran ex-British Army officer who had wartime experience at its head, it had a substantial membership, and possession of weapons, explosives, some basic training, and it had members serving in the British armed forces.

As a result, the Tory Prime Minister, Ted Heath, sent Douglas Hurd, then a confidential aide to Heath, on a mission to Scotland to examine the political situation in light of the rise of the SLA and militant Scottish nationalism. (Note 2.)

Shortly after his mission to Scotland, Douglas Hurd, in collaboration with Andrew Osmond, wrote a novel called "Scotch On The Rocks" which was loosely based on the information he had gathered on the SLA in Scotland.

The novel contains a number of composite characters. "Colonel Cameron", the leader of the SLA in the novel, is clearly based on Major Boothby. While "Brodie" is clearly Busby the "extremist", and "Meg Merrilees" is a composite character partly based on the late Wendy Wood. While the story is fiction, it forms one of a trilogy of novels - based in Scotland, Singapore and Hong Kong - co-written by Douglas Hurd and based on materials he had gathered on his confidential fact-finding missions to all three countries.

What impressed Adam Busby and others was the impact that the existence of the SLA appeared to have on the Conservative leadership's thinking on Scotland.

In the late 1960s, to the general surprise of many, including many in the Tory party, Prime Minister Ted Heath made a historic commitment to Scottish Devolution in the famous "Declaration Of Perth". Thirty years later, during the debate on the establishment of the present Scottish parliament, Ted Heath made it clear that if re-elected he would have implemented his promise of a Scottish parliament or Assembly.

To Adam Busby, and to others, the 1968 "Declaration of Perth" made it clear that while English governments were totally deaf to all other forms of campaigning, they responded immediately to violence or to the threat of violence.

As Alec, speaking on behalf of the SNLA, put it many years later:

”The British State only responds to one thing - physical force. Everything else from civil disobedience to electioneering is just a waste of time, and is really just a form of collaboration with the State. These activities only allow people to channel their energy into activities which are harmless to the State, so the State can operate without resistance.

But the State really fears physical force resistance because physical force resistance is a real threat to the State. Basically, anyone who doesn't physically resist the British State is really in collaboration with the British State.”

The Scottish Liberation Army eventually drifted into oblivion although some of its ex-members were to continue as individual activists for many years. For example, Major Boothby, hopelessly at odds with some of his former colleagues, was jailed for three years for an alleged conspiracy during the 1970s. He died shortly after his release from prison.

Adam Busby, disillusioned with all forms of constitutional politics and disgusted by the ineptitude of most of the militants, spent many years diligently studying Scottish history, literature, politics and the Gaelic language, becoming a language activist who promoted the Gaelic Idea - the doctrine that Scotland should become a totally Gaelic-speaking nation again.

But, above all, he was engaged in preparation for the next stage in what he saw as the inevitable struggle to reclaim Scotland's legitimate national rights.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: Adam Busby's widowed aunt, Baillie Agnes Ballantyne, chaired the Labour party's Strathclyde Regional Police and Fire Committee. She adopted David McNee, the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, as her friend and protege. Under her tutelage, he went on to become Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and was knighted.

In a twist of fate, this took place during the same period that Adam Busby was co-founding the SNLA and carrying out letter bomb attacks on targets throughout the United Kingdom.

Note 2: Ironically Douglas Hurd was to become a target of the Scottish National Liberation Army himself when, as a senior member of the Conservative government, he was sent a letter bomb in July 1986. It ignited inside the Home Office HQ in London.

Chapter Six

The Formation Of The SNLA

The Scottish National Liberation Army came into existence in December 1980. Its formation followed a series of strictly confidential meetings at the SNP Club in Edinburgh attended by people who felt that the outcome of the Devolution referendum demanded a definite response, and a complete change of strategy in Scotland.

There were five founding members of whom Adam Busby was one and Douglas "Dougie" Ross, an Edinburgh publican, was another. Ross, the publican of the Swiss Cottage pub in Edinburgh, died in mysterious circumstances in the early 1980s. Three of the five original members are still active in the SNLA.

Willie McRae was not a founding member of the SNLA, although he was a very early associate and influence who was active by 1981.

There was a general feeling that something had to be done, that the outcome of the Devolution referendum was the final signal that there was no constitutional way forward, and that only a fierce and sustained physical force campaign would ever achieve anything.

The problem was what to do, and how to do it. At the very beginning there wasn't even a formal name for the group, and no clear ideas of how to proceed had yet been developed. But there was an absolute determination to see the thing through, and to win Scottish Independence by any means necessary.

Alec reiterates this: "What people don't realise is that the SNLA isn't a protest group. We're not a political party or a social club either. We are a secret revolutionary group with only one object. We only have one purpose and that is to achieve our aims. We are out to win. And we'll use any methods we see fit to do that regardless of the cost. And if that means using WMD (Weapons Of Mass Destruction) then we don't flinch from it - we welcome it because if it's got to be done then we are anxious to do it."

Each of the founding members agreed to recruit one new member and the creation of a think-tank to research ideas for more or less immediate action. This resulted in a number of small-scale actions in 1981, most of which were comparatively trivial, including slogan painting and the theft and burning of Union Jack flags.

But one of the earliest proto-SNLA operations was carried out using the name of the "Dark Harvest Commando" in the early 1980s, and it was far from trivial. It is interesting both because it involved Willie McRae - see the later chapter where his death-by-shooting is examined in detail - and, especially, because it involved probably the first ever terrorist use of a biological weapon - Anthrax.

During WW2 the British had, completely recklessly and with blatant disregard for the local population, tested Anthrax as a potential biological weapon on the small uninhabited island of Gruinard. The island lies adjacent and in very close proximity to the North West coast of Scotland.

The island was seeded with Anthrax spores by British biological experts in a wartime experiment in the 1940s. It was in the form of "Anthrax cakes" designed to infect livestock rather than humans, and the Anthrax remained active on the island for decades afterwards. Over the years there was a great deal of concern among the area's population that Anthrax had spread from the island to the nearby Scottish mainland.

The British authorities always denied that Anthrax had spread from Gruinard to the Scottish mainland. But, given the fact that the island lies just off the mainland, and the fact that Anthrax spores can quickly become airborne, there were few people in the area who believed the authorities' assertions that Anthrax could be kept contained on a small offshore island.

Willie McRae, the veteran nationalist lawyer, who had close connections with the area, came up with a novel scheme to force the British authorities to admit that Anthrax had spread from Gruinard to the adjacent mainland.

Firstly a surreptitious visit to the island by night allowed members of what became known as the Dark Harvest Commando to leave traces of recent digging on the island, although no earth was actually removed from the island.

Then a substantial quantity of earth containing Anthrax spores was secretly removed from the mainland facing Gruinard island. The earth, which filled two large sacks, was then removed in the boot of a car to Willie McRae's home. At the same time an elaborate scheme was hatched to convince the British authorities and the police that the earth had been taken from the island itself.

A local boatman, who kept his boat on the beach on the mainland near the island of Gruinard, was surprised when he went to his boat one day and found that it was not in its usual position. Even more surprising, there was an anonymous note in the boat thanking him for the use of the boat and a sum of money to pay for its overnight "hire".

Shortly after this, small mounds of the contaminated earth from the Scottish mainland were dumped at two locations in England. The most fitting location was on the perimeter of the Porton Down complex in Wiltshire, which houses the British State's biological weapons research station. It was at Porton Down that the Anthrax had originated many years previously. The other location was close to the foot of the Blackpool Tower during the governing Conservative Party's Blackpool Conference.

The incidents caused minor panic - even in those far-off days when there was a much less heightened awareness of the threat of biological weapons. Both incidents were highly publicised, and the removal of the Anthrax-contaminated earth at Blackpool was televised to a British public - most of which had never heard of the island of Gruinard.

The media were initially informed by the Dark Harvest Commando that the earth had been removed from Gruinard and that it contained Anthrax spores. When the British government's experts tested the soil and revealed that it did, in fact, contain Anthrax they had fallen into the Dark Harvest Commando's elaborate trap.

The Commando then revealed that the Anthrax-contaminated soil had not come from the island, as they had previously claimed, but from the Scottish mainland near the island.

As a result of the Dark Harvest Commando's revelations, there was considerable embarrassment in government and scientific circles. Finally the British government announced that Gruinard island would be thoroughly decontaminated and, eventually, this extensive decontamination operation was carried out.

The operation had been a tremendous success for the Dark Harvest Commando who ended the operation by pinning a notice to a door of the Scottish Office in Edinburgh warning that, while they were suspending the operation for the present, they would return if no action was taken to remedy the situation on Gruinard, or if events in Scotland warranted it. (Note 1.)

The Dark Harvest Commando - which sometimes referred to itself as being part of the "Scottish Civilian Army", an early name for the SNLA which was subsequently dropped in favour of its present title - was jubilant, but there was some concern at the lack of attention reluctantly given to the whole matter by the Scottish media, in comparison to the more generous coverage provided by the English media.

This phenomenon, the unwillingness of the Scottish media to report news stories which concern anti-State activities, has persisted and increased until the present day.

But, what may be of the greatest significance, is that two of the participants in this first ever terrorist use of a biological agent were later found dead in mysterious circumstances.

Not long after the operations of the Dark Harvest Commando had ceased, the body of Douglas Ross, a young and healthy man, who was an SNLA founder member, was found lying dead, of what were described as natural causes, in a remote area. There was no inquiry into the circumstances of his death.

On the 6th of April, 1985, Willie McRae also died in a very mysterious shooting incident. As in the case of his colleague Douglas Ross, the authorities absolutely refused demands for an inquiry into Willie McRae's death. (See the later chapter which deals with the circumstances of McRae's death.)

On completion of the Dark Harvest Operation, the group decided to use the name Scottish National Liberation Army as the group's official title - because it signifies total Independence and a National Revolution which rejects all things British - and to begin the SNLA campaign as soon as possible on an appropriate and significant date.

Note 1: The remainder of the Anthrax-contaminated soil remains in the hands of the SNLA. It is said to be safely stored in an outhouse or potting shed somewhere in Scotland.

Chapter Seven

Letter Bomb Mayhem

The Scottish National Liberation Army's campaign officially opened on the 1st of March 1982, the date being chosen because it was the third anniversary of the referendum on Scottish Devolution, and the target was also highly symbolic, being the area of Edinburgh which surrounds the Old Royal High School, the proposed site of the Scottish Assembly.

The plan was to place about twenty small incendiary devices in the early morning hours in a number of pillar boxes and grit boxes at various locations in a rough circle surrounding the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh, and then to inform the media of the locations of the devices first thing in the morning through a message delivered to the offices of the BBC in Edinburgh.

It was hoped that this would lead to a huge police operation which would effectively seal off large parts of central Edinburgh at the height of the morning's rush hour. This was the original plan. However, all did not go strictly according to plan.

Alec, my SNLA source, tells the story:

"Quite simply, too many people were involved and there was too much division of responsibility. The guy who was to make the incendiary devices got cold feet at the very last minute and didn't turn up, leaving us minus the devices. When it became clear that he wasn't going to turn up, we took the statement we had prepared and delivered it to the media anyway.

I remember that the statement was far too long, maybe a thousand or a couple of thousand words, while nowadays statements are very brief and straight to the point since the media, if it reports anything, won't report anything more than a few brief details. If I remember correctly, the statement went to the BBC's radio offices in Edinburgh.

We were delighted when the planned disruption actually took place. The police took the warning very seriously and blocked off the streets while they urgently contacted the Post Office to get the pillar boxes opened. Then each postal packet or letter inside the pillar boxes had to be individually examined. There was considerable disruption to traffic throughout the area while this was going on, and this was reported on, I think, the local radio station, Radio Forth.

We felt that the operation could still be counted as a limited success, and we had learned very valuable lessons from it. The bomb-maker, who was an extremely vocal revolutionary but, like most people, was totally incapable of any real action, was dropped from SNLA membership, so we had also learned to beware of purely verbal militants and wannabes.

Our next operation was a letter bomb sent to John Nott MP, the British Defence Secretary. We had decided in advance that when Nott announced that the Trident missile programme was to go ahead, we would immediately send a letter bomb to him at the House of Commons.

Accordingly, we had everything prepared, and when the Trident programme was announced in March 1982, we quickly assembled a black powder explosive device at a house in Edinburgh, which was sent to John Nott at the House of Commons in London.

Here again we made a number of minor errors. The device was posted at a pillar box in Edinburgh on March 16th 1982. It wasn't an unusually large device and it just went through the post like any average letter. This meant that it turned up in London the following day which was March 17th - St Patrick's Day.

As a result, when the media got the story, which was the main news story of the day in the UK, and also got considerable coverage internationally, they all assumed that the letter bomb was the work of the IRA because it had been delivered on St Patrick's Day. We should have foreseen this possibility and delayed the posting of the letter bomb for a day or two.

That evening, one of our members used a public call box (and he was wearing gloves to avoid leaving traceable fingerprints) to phone a claim to the Glasgow offices of the "Scotsman" newspaper. We chose that particular newspaper office because we knew that it was manned 24 hours a day, and that it didn't have the means to record telephone calls.

Our mistakes: The telephone call should have been made much earlier in the day. As soon as the bomb was reported in fact which, if I remember correctly, was on the 3 o'clock TV news. That way our claim would have been more widely reported by the media for most of the day. As it was, our claim was only picked up by a few of the newspapers on the following day.

Also, the device had been addressed to John Nott MP at the House of Commons. We had hoped that he or one of his senior aides would open the device themselves.

What happened was that the device was forwarded from the Commons to the Ministry of Defence HQ buildings in London. (Note 1.) This is standard practice when mail is addressed to a Minister or Secretary of State. It is automatically forwarded from the Commons to the relevant Ministry.

And so the letter bomb was actually opened by a female staff member at the Ministry of Defence. She was named in the following day's media. She was actually opening the letter bomb when she realised that it was a bomb and quickly put it down. She was very, very vigilant and very, very lucky. If she had fully opened the letter bomb it would have gone off, and she would have been seriously injured, at the least. The bomb was designed to kill or maim. The police themselves made a statement describing the device as a "viable bomb".

We hadn't counted on this, and we weren't interested in injuring or killing junior civil servants, and so we immediately switched to incendiary devices which are dangerous but not nearly as dangerous as explosive devices.

The main lesson we had learned was that when a letter bomb is addressed to a prominent politician or other person or target - what we call a "prestige target" – it gets massive publicity, and this is propaganda for our cause.

As a result we immediately sent two incendiary letter bombs to the HQ offices of the Social Democratic Party in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Neither device ignited, but this didn't surprise us as a general alert had been issued after the Nott letter bomb which had been sent out only a few days before. The one sent to the SDP in Edinburgh was blown up in the street by a bomb disposal squad, and this was televised. It was quite dramatic footage.

From a propaganda point of view it was a brilliant success. We had achieved our first aim, and resoundingly so. All the media made our attacks the main news story of the day, and all of them reported the letter bombs as the work of the SNLA, making the name of the Scottish National Liberation Army nationally and internationally known. We had achieved the first of our aims:

To make the Scottish struggle internationally known, and to present a totally militant image in total contradiction to the comfortably respectable and collaborative image presented by the constitutionalist and essentially pro-British Scottish National Party.

These letter bombs got such massive publicity partly because the Social Democratic Party itself was getting massive attention from the media at that time. So the SDP was very much a "prestige target". But we never regarded the SDP as anything more than just another British political party, and this made them a legitimate target. So fuck them.

The letter bomb campaign carried on throughout 1982 and 1983 with growing success. In fact, a number of other groups and individuals, most notably animal rights campaigners, began letter bomb campaigns of their own because they recognized that letter bombs were relatively straightforward to manufacture once the technique had been mastered, and that the letter bomb would almost always reach its target. Even if it didn't reach its target, it would cause major disruption and it would probably be publicised anyway.

By our example, the SNLA had triggered off a rash of letter bombings by other groups and other people throughout the UK.

On one memorable occasion in 1983 three letter bombs were sent to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on three consecutive days. Only one of them was ours, and we think it was the second one. We don't know who sent the others.

We targeted Thatcher on numerous occasions, usually getting quite close, and on one occasion a letter bomb ignited in a room only a few yards away from her.

Finally, the postal authorities introduced a sophisticated screening device into the main sorting office which deals with mail for that part of London. It is a conveyor belt which X-rays the mail, and can detect explosives, and can tell the difference between a paper clip and an electrical circuit. Suspect letters and packages are automatically downloaded from the conveyor belt and drop into a bomb-proof compartment. But this screening device can still be beaten.

We used carbon paper on the inside of some devices to mask the contents from X-rays. Fibre glass can be used for the same purposes. So we weren't unduly worried by the increased security measures, and our letter bombs continued to get through undetected.

One was sent to, I think it was Douglas Hurd, and it went off inside the Home Office in 1986. The police issued the usual junk about a crude and unsophisticated device which had only partially ignited, etc.

The point is that crude and unsophisticated devices couldn't get through the security screen, and we later heard that a member of the Home Office staff was slightly injured which tends to indicate that the device did fully ignite.

We also began to use the technique of the hoax parcel bomb in 1982 and 1983. The media always refer to these inaccurately as "hoax letter bombs". In fact, the SNLA has never used hoax letter bombs.

To understand this, it is necessary to describe the physical aspects and appearance of a letter bomb.

Contrary to popular belief, the letter bomb isn't a large or bulky object. The size varies but essentially it is the same size and only a little heavier than any ordinary letter. Put simply, a letter bomb is usually about 9 inches long by 4 inches wide, is a slim object, and is virtually indistinguishable from any of the millions of other letters which turn up in offices and homes every weekday.

Parcel bombs are very much larger objects - a parcel bomb could be a package of virtually any size.

What we discovered was that when a hoax parcel bomb or a suspect parcel bomb turned up at, say, a government office, then because of the possibility that it could contain large amounts of explosive the whole building had to be evacuated causing major stoppages and disruption.

We often employed this technique and it always worked very well. We usually refer to the hoax devices as "inert devices", by the way.

These hoax parcel bombs usually contained wires, a battery and some substance like marzipan - marzipan is ideal because it looks and even smells like gelignite and similar types of explosive.

When the parcel was opened, the first thing the recipient would see were the wires and so on, and they would immediately call the police, and the police would order the evacuation of the whole building because of the size of the parcel, and the potential of any explosives it might have contained to cause damage and casualties throughout the whole building. Sometimes the streets outside the building are also sealed off to keep the public away and to allow the police to establish control over a perimeter.

This means hours of disruption in the target area which is very expensive, and it is massively time-consuming for the police.

The advantage of the hoax parcel bomb is that it is simple for anyone to make, whereas the much smaller letter bombs required a certain amount of skill to manufacture, and an unskilled bomb-maker could injure himself. This occasionally happened. But letter and hoax parcel bombs were only part of the picture.

In November 1982 we burnt out the Tories' temporary HQ in Glasgow, and the following night we burnt out the Labour party's national HQ in Scotland, which is also in Glasgow. In both cases, petrol was poured into the buildings through broken windows and letterboxes, and then ignited. This sounds simple, but really it's quite dangerous because, while the petrol is being poured, there is a rapid build-up of petrol vapour in the air which causes an explosion when the petrol is ignited. We quickly learned to stand well back!

The trick is to pour the petrol inside, leaving a pool of petrol on the outside of the building, then stand out of range and throw a box of blazing matches or a rolled-up ball of burning newspaper into the pool of petrol. The pool of petrol ignites and that then goes on to ignite the petrol which has already been poured into the building.

Petrol is dangerous stuff to work with, but the results were well worth it as both buildings were badly damaged. The Labour HQ also lost 150,000 copies of their newspaper which were stacked in the hallway of their offices.

Unfortunately, due to all the publicity, we had spawned imitators one of whom burned down the Labour party offices in Dundee shortly afterwards. We had absolutely no argument with the action per se, but a number of people who lived over the Labour offices in Dundee had a very narrow escape from the fire. Naturally, we got the blame for that one too. In the "Black Book" it is still attributed to us. (Note 2.)

With the single exception of the arson attack on the Labour party's Scottish HQ, we didn't carry out any more attacks on the Labour party until 1994. There just wasn't any point as they seemed to be in permanent opposition.

Incidentally, in November 1983, a year to the day after we burnt out the Tories' temporary HQ in Glasgow, we went back there and planted a powerful home-made bomb there. Unfortunately, it only partially ignited because we didn't construct it properly, but we had reiterated our point.

We had also carried out an arson attack on Redford Army Barracks in Edinburgh. It was a very risky operation with a high risk of us being caught red-handed. Because of this, in order to cover our SNLA credentials we used the cover name of the "Scottish Independence Army" for this operation. We even had some literature done up using this name and we scattered it around in the dormitories. The barracks were practically deserted at the time although it was only early evening, and we never had any trouble with getting caught.

The only trouble we had was with the petrol which was in plastic bottles. Our plan was to tip the bottles over on their sides so that some of the petrol from the bottles ran into balloons which we had attached to the necks of the bottles. Then we intended to light candles and "snakes" - these are coils of slow-burning material which are intended to be used to repel insects - which when they burned down would ignite the petrol in the balloons. This was to provide a delay to give us time to get out before the fires started.

The trouble was the petrol just ate through the balloons as soon as it made contact with them. This shouldn't have happened because we had tested the technique in training and it worked perfectly then. So we just said "Fuck it", and sprinkled the petrol from the bottles all over two big dormitories. Then we lit the petrol by hand using some of the papers we had brought.

Then we just drove out of the barracks without anyone stopping us or taking any notice of us. The dormitories were badly damaged by the fires we had started, but the main effect on us was to boost our confidence. If we could just drive into a major British Army base and set it on fire, then what couldn't we do? We were absolutely full of confidence in ourselves.

Another major action which took place around this time - I think it was February 1983 - was the letter bomb sent to Glasgow's Lord Provost, Michael Kelly, at the Glasgow City Chambers. It was timed to coincide with the day of Princess Diana's first official visit to Glasgow. Michael Kelly wasn't really the target - although the letter bomb was actually addressed to him - he only became a target because he was due to welcome Diana to Glasgow.

There was a problem around this time as the State, which in this case means the police and the media, had routinely begun to play down, to denigrate or simply to deny SNLA claims.

We planned the letter bomb attack on the day of Diana's visit as a "spectacular", and we couldn't take the risk that the police Press Officer would simply deny that anything had taken place. We wanted the media to be right there on the spot so that the police couldn't cover up anything and we could maximize the propaganda effect.

The whole thing was meticulously planned. We used Willie McRae's office in Buchanan Street as a base from which we could monitor the routine and the timing of postal deliveries in central Glasgow. We quickly established that mail to the City Chambers was delivered well prior to 9am each morning, while mail to the media offices in the area - including the STV (Scottish Television) offices in Cowcaddens - was always delivered slightly later in the morning.

What we did was to send the incendiary letter bomb to the City Chambers, and in the same post we sent out stenciled statements in which we gave exact details about the letter bomb which had been delivered to the City Chambers. These statements were only sent to each of the media offices in the area which we knew received their mail after the City Chambers received its mail. The plan worked perfectly. 

The letter bomb was delivered to the City Chambers first, while the media offices in the area received full details of it, including its location, in the post shortly afterwards, and the media then descended on the City Chambers in droves.

The letter bomb was opened by the Lord Provost's secretary, a guy called Eric Hamilton, while he was in his office interviewing, of all people, Miss Glasgow. The device ignited, Eric Hamilton was burned on the wrist or hand, and the top of his desk and the paperwork on it was also burned. Finally, the device fell to the floor where it burned a large hole in the carpet before somebody got hold of a fire extinguisher and put it out.

Soon after, the media pack turned up outside the City Chambers with photographers and even a film crew in attendance. The police couldn't stop them swarming all over the place and everything was filmed or photographed for TV or the Press. Everyone involved except Eric Hamilton, who had been taken to hospital for treatment for burns, was interviewed by the media. This included Miss Glasgow, who was present when the bomb went off, and the porter who had finally extinguished the blaze with the fire extinguisher.

This was a major news event not just in the UK, where it was the main news story of the day, but worldwide.

Our communiqué had made it plain that this action had taken place to disrupt the first official visit of Diana to Glasgow, which, of course, was taking place that very morning, and it had worked. The Royal Visit was completely overshadowed by the letter bomb attack. It was a political and military success and a tremendous propaganda coup for us.

Another bonus for us was that while the police for their own propaganda purposes had routinely begun to describe our letter bombs as "crude" and “amateurish", the photographs and film of the damage to the inside of the office gave the lie to their propaganda. Even a senior police officer at the scene was forced to admit that the letter bomb was very artfully made, and the media quoted this statement - much to our delight.

What is also interesting about the whole affair is that it shows the importance that the British State gives to the prestige and propaganda value of the Royal Family.

We had severely dented that prestige, and turned the whole thing into a propaganda victory for the SNLA, and in response the State arranged an unscheduled Royal visit to Glasgow several weeks later. This time Diana was accompanied by Charlie (Prince Charles) and there was massive security. It was reported in the Press that college students were told they could take time off to go and see the Royal couple - but the students had to promise that they wouldn't demonstrate against the Royal visitors.

I guess you could say that the SNLA had won that round!"

But not all SNLA actions were so successful.

There was a conspiracy to assassinate Mrs Thatcher at the Scottish Tory party conference in Perth in May 1983, but it was aborted despite the fact that a considerable amount of planning had been put into it.

The plan - to put a bomb underneath the stage from which the Prime Minister would address the conference - had to be abandoned when it became obvious that the State had got wind of a similar plan being loudly promoted by a short-lived nationalist splinter group called the "Arm nan Gaidheal" or, in English, the "Army Of The Gael" - although there is no evidence that the splinter group's "plan" ever amounted to any more than wishful thinking. (Note 3.)

But, even so, there were compensations for the SNLA. Security at the Tory conference, which normally consisted of a token police presence, was stepped up to such an extent that media commentators began to refer to the "fortress city of Perth".

Unperturbed and audacious, the SNLA decided on an alternative plan.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: Years later the SNLA started a fire in the Ministry of Defence HQ in London. According to Alec, the building was undergoing extensive renovations at the time and the SNLA's operators simply walked in without being challenged - as they had done at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.

Note 2: The "Black Book" is the disparaging SNLA name for the book "Britain's Secret War", which the SNLA believe is State-inspired propaganda. It is largely inaccurate nonsense and was written by two people, one of whom was once employed in a senior position by the former SNP leader Gordon Wilson MP.

Note 3: The "Army Of The Gael" did however manage to carry out one or two more or less successful arson attacks circa early 1983. Some of their members received non-custodial sentences for some of these offences.

Chapter Eight

The Arrest Of David Dinsmore

The SNLA's alternative plan involved the sending of a letter bomb to Scone Palace near Perth, home of the Tory Earl of Mansfield, where Mrs Thatcher would stay during the Scottish Tory Party Conference.

Accordingly, an incendiary letter bomb was prepared and posted in central Glasgow on the afternoon of May 12th 1983 by David Michael Dinsmore, a Falkirk youth who had been a member of the SNLA since early the previous year. The letter bomb would have reached Scone Palace on the following day to coincide with Mrs Thatcher's presence.

However, the letter bomb never reached its target. It was discovered in a post box in central Glasgow, shortly after David Dinsmore, who was being followed by detectives, was seen posting a letter there. Dinsmore had been identified by the police as an SNLA member, and had been kept under strict surveillance during most of May 12th, 1983.

In the early hours of May 13th, 1983, he was arrested at his parents' Falkirk home. Among the items taken as evidence from Dinsmore's room in his parents' home was a business card belonging to Willie McRae which had writing on its reverse side.

(See the later chapter on the mysterious death of Willie McRae for more details and the significance of this.)

Arrested under the Prevention Of Terrorism legislation, David Dinsmore was taken into police custody but maintained an absolute silence. Adam Busby was also arrested in Paisley under the anti-terrorism legislation later the same day, but, lacking any evidence, the police were forced to release him without charge shortly afterwards.

David Dinsmore was charged in connection with the letter bomb which had been intercepted on its way to Scone Palace, was denied bail, and remanded in custody to Longriggend Remand Centre. Dinsmore thus became the first person to be charged with participation in letter bomb attacks or SNLA activities.

During the period of his detention the letter bomb attacks continued unabated, and SNLA members set fire to forestry plantations near Perth in retaliation for Dinsmore's arrest. The fires raged for days.

A group to campaign for Dinsmore's release was also formed which campaigned on the basis that David Dinsmore had been framed by the authorities. The campaign group was, in fact, an SNLA-founded propaganda front although most of its members and supporters had no links to the SNLA.

The campaign was proactive and determined, with the emphasis on Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA). It carried out a number of actions including a picket of Glasgow Sheriff Court on the date of David Dinsmore's remand court appearance.

During this picket of the court, then based in Ingram Street, a large police bus used to transport prisoners was put out of action when its tyres were mysteriously slashed.

Later that evening, posters demanding the release of David Dinsmore were pasted on the windows of the Sheriff Court buildings and the ground floor windows were then smashed by bricks. It was a daring and audacious attack because it took place in the brightness of the early evening. It was also extremely insulting to the police and the judiciary.

An anonymous call was then made to a freelance journalist who operated a small Press Agency called "Quill Enterprises", and who lived fairly nearby in the West End of Glasgow. The journalist hastened to the scene of the incident and saw the posters, the broken windows, and discussed the incident with a number of uniformed policemen who had been called to the scene, and with workmen who were beginning to erect hoardings over the broken windows.

Finally, in order to complete his story, the journalist used a phone kiosk in the street nearby to phone the police Press Officer for an official comment. This is standard journalistic procedure as no news story of this type will be published without an official comment or confirmation from the police Press Officer. The police Press Officer is a police officer who has been trained to deal with the media, or a journalist who is employed by the police to handle media enquiries. Each police force has its own Press Officer or Officers.

To the freelance journalist's utter astonishment, the police Press Officer denied that any such attack on the Glasgow Sheriff Court had taken place. Despite the freelancer's protests that he was still at the scene of the incident, and had seen the posters and the damage for himself only a few minutes before, and had even discussed the incident with investigating police officers, the police Press Officer continued to maintain that no such incident had taken place.

As a result of the Press Officer's insistence, the incident could not be reported as no newspaper would carry a story about an incident which had been officially denied by the police.

Such blatant lying, which is no more than a means to impose censorship on the media and the public, was to become standard procedure for the Scottish police forces and the British government in the years to come, and has now (in the year 2005) reached epidemic levels. It is also a simple attempt by the State to use the media to conduct a propaganda war against the SNLA, as, by denying and ridiculing their claims as "false", they can then portray the group as liars and fantasists.

While the campaign to support David Dinsmore kept up the momentum, the police realised that Dinsmore was just one of a number of very determined individuals who made up the SNLA, and that their intelligence on the remainder was extremely limited or non-existent.

Most of the little they did know came from their informers in the ranks of two minor groupings called "Siol nan Gaidheal" and the "Scottish Republican Socialist Party".

Both Dinsmore and Busby had been members of Siol nan Gaidheal - the name in Gaelic means "Seed Of The Gael" - and Adam Busby had actually formed the Scottish Republican Socialist Party the previous year.

Both groups had proved a severe disappointment to the SNLA members. Adam Busby and David Dinsmore had both been expelled by Siol nan Gaidheal which advertised itself as a militant, activist group. Ironically they were both expelled from Siol nan Gaidheal quite simply because they were militant activists, while most of the rest of the group most certainly were not.

Their expulsions were a result of their taking part in militant activities. Dinsmore and Busby had sparked a riot on the Wallace Day memorial march and rally in Renfrewshire in 1982. It led to fighting with the police and the siege of the local police station. Both Dinsmore and Busby were arrested as were a number of others.

In a separate incident, Adam Busby had thrown smoke bombs at SDP leader Roy Jenkins at a Glasgow rally of the Social Democratic Party in 1981.

These and similar incidents had horrified the ultra-conservative elements within Siol nan Gaidheal and the SNP.

The Scottish Republican Socialist Party was an even greater disappointment.

Founded by Adam Busby in late 1982 as the Scottish Republican Movement to promote non-constitutional and anti-constitutional activities such as Non-Violent Direct Action, the group had been inundated by pro-SNP elements some of whom were informers who later testified against SNLA suspects in court.

Adam Busby abandoned the group in disgust in early 1983.

But, despite Dinsmore's continued incarceration, the wave of letter bomb attacks continued unabated. During this period, for example, a letter bomb was addressed to the manager of Cardowan Colliery near Stepps which was threatened with closure.

This was in August 1983 and, although the device failed to ignite, it received widespread publicity. Predictably, the police Press Officer described the device as a "crude incendiary device" - although how such a supposedly "crude" device escaped detection in the postal system was not made clear.

However, after several months on remand in prison Dinsmore was suddenly and unexpectedly released on bail later in 1983. 

Both Busby and Dinsmore suspected that this was merely a ploy to entrap them in conspiracy charges by exposing Dinsmore to the informers in the "Scottish Republican Socialist Party" (SRSP). This feeling was underlined when, within days of his release, an SRSP informer persuaded Dinsmore to commit a technical breach of the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism legislation. As a result, Dinsmore was re-arrested.

Dinsmore, on completion of an additional month of imprisonment for the breach, decided to avoid conspiracy charges by absconding to Ireland as soon as possible. Adam Busby, also a target for conspiracy charges, decided to abscond with Dinsmore.

With the assistance of two comrades, Tommy Kelly and Willie McRae, Busby and Dinsmore evaded police surveillance, and flew from Scotland to the Irish Republic on the 16th of September 1983.

Anxious to take advantage of the Irish Republic's extradition laws, which banned extradition for political offences, Busby and Dinsmore engineered their own arrest in the Irish Republic in December 1983.

Remanded in custody awaiting appeals against extradition, Busby and Dinsmore were not granted bail until late 1984.

Tommy Kelly, the friend who helped Dinsmore and Kelly to escape from Scotland in September 1983, was arrested shortly afterwards on the word of yet another SRSP informer and was charged with an SNLA conspiracy. His alleged conspirators were named later in the High Court as David Dinsmore and Adam Busby.

Kelly, betrayed by a so-called "Supergrass", received a ten year sentence for SNLA activities, and in 1984 became the first person ever to be convicted of SNLA activities.

Eighteen months after Busby and Dinsmore fled Scotland, Willie McRae was shot dead in a mysterious incident which shall be dealt with in detail in another chapter.

Chapter Nine

The Plot To Murder Roy Jenkins MP

Roy Jenkins (later Lord Jenkins), one of the members of the "Gang Of Four" and a founder member of the Social Democratic Party, had been elected as the Member of Parliament for the Glasgow Hillhead constituency in a sensational by-election in 1982. In order to avoid accusations that he was simply a "carpetbagger" and an incomer, Roy Jenkins MP bought a small tenement apartment in the Kirklee area of Glasgow near the city's Botanic Gardens.

The SNLA quickly acquired the address of the new MP's apartment and began to closely monitor Roy Jenkins' movements. They soon discovered that Jenkins was not a permanent resident in Glasgow. He only used the new apartment for overnight stays when he visited his constituency at the weekends to conduct the surgeries which are a normal part of an MP's workload. As the MP's surgeries were openly advertised for the benefit of Jenkins' constituents, it was a simple matter to keep a close watch on Jenkins' overnight stays at the Glasgow apartment.

They discovered that Jenkins almost invariably stayed in the apartment on Friday nights, and sometimes on Saturday nights. He was usually alone although sometimes accompanied by an aide. The SNLA noted that there was absolutely no security of any kind at Jenkins’ home.

They also noted that it was an up-market but typical Glasgow tenement building, complete with the common stair (known in Glasgow as the "close") and that Jenkins' apartment was on an upper floor, and had only one entrance - a door with a large and, to the SNLA, a very inviting letter box.

The SNLA calculated that if a single gallon of petrol was poured through the letter box and ignited in the early hours of the morning, then the elderly sleeping Jenkins would have no means of escape, and would die in the flames and smoke with little hope of rescue.

"The smoke would have got him in a few minutes, and he would probably have died without waking", as an SNLA insider put it.

The prospect of pulling off such a "sensational" exploit had an enormous appeal to the SNLA, and it was decided to carry out the action at a significant date when its effect would be magnified.

The date chosen for the proposed attack was in the immediate run-up to the European Parliamentary Elections in 1984. The SNLA is, of course, strongly anti-European Union while Roy Jenkins was strongly and vociferously pro-European Union.

By the time chosen for the murder bid, however, the SNLA was severely disorganized. Adam Busby and David Dinsmore were in prison in Dublin awaiting appeals against extradition to the UK, and communications between the rest of the group were not good.

The result of the murder attempt was a fiasco.

Alec tells the story:

"The guy who was in charge of the operation had all the details and could have carried out the attack himself and without any assistance. But he got cold feet and on the right night when he knew that Jenkins was asleep inside, he called in a person who hadn't even been properly briefed and didn't have any of the details or know the layout.

The new guy was simply taken to the right street in the middle of the night, the house was pointed out to him and he was handed a gallon of petrol and left to get on with it on his own. His so-called briefing only lasted a couple of minutes in the dark of night, before the other fellow drove off.

He - the new guy - naturally got it all wrong. He went to the right house but went to the wrong door in the house. Ironically, if he had been able to study the building in daylight he would have known which was Jenkins' apartment, because it was being used as an SDP election HQ during the European elections, and there were SDP posters in the window. Instead, he began to pour the petrol through a letter box, but it was the wrong door in the right building.

Fortunately the people in that house were awake and spotted what was going on. They probably thought it was kids at first, but, when they looked through their door and saw a guy wearing a balaclava pouring petrol through their letter box, the woman began to scream.

The woman's screams alerted our guy because he knew there shouldn't have been anyone else present except Jenkins, and so he knew he was in the wrong place and he didn't light the petrol and left the scene rapidly.

The whole thing was a screw-up and a near-disaster. A near massacre of the innocent in fact.

Eventually, a guy called Steve Wilson from near Glasgow was charged with the attempted murder of the people inside - whose family name was Connell, I think - but there was no evidence against him and he was released after spending a few weeks on remand in Barlinnie. He wasn't lucky - he just didn't do it. (Note 1.)

The lucky one was Roy Jenkins. He had a very narrow escape.

We were furious because the simplest operation had been turned into a total fiasco. The rule in all operations is to keep it simple, then simplify and simplify again. But one guy had still managed to blow even the simplest operation because he crapped it and handed the whole thing over to someone who had only the vaguest idea of what was going on.

If he had only had Jenkins' door pointed out to him in daylight, then it would have been different, but the idiot who took charge of the operation didn't even do that. The truth is he lost his wits as well as his nerve.

Was it a massive fuck-up? Yes, it was undoubtedly, and it was also one of the greatest lost opportunities we ever experienced."

But the SNLA was quick to find even more "opportunities".

Note 1: The person referred to by Alec was Stephen Bertram Wilson. He was charged with attempted murder and remanded in custody in Barlinnie prison, Glasgow, but was eventually released due to lack of evidence.

Chapter Ten

The Extradition Appeals

When the extradition appeals were due to be heard in Dublin High Court in October 1984, Adam Busby and David Dinsmore were both on bail after eight months in custody in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin.

It was quickly discovered that David Dinsmore had absconded to parts unknown. In fact, Dinsmore had traveled by air to Spain posing as a tourist and using a false Irish passport, from where he eventually made his way to Brazil. The authorities would not discover Dinsmore's whereabouts until nine years later when Dinsmore surrendered to the British authorities as the result of a deal brokered in Brazil.

Because of Dinsmore's non-appearance in the High Court, only the appeal against extradition by Adam Busby was heard.

Because of the fundamental differences between the British and Irish laws on conspiracy, no action could be taken to extradite Busby or Dinsmore for the SNLA conspiracy - although both were named as conspirators during the trial of Tommy Kelly in early 1984.

Instead of the conspiracy charges, the British could only bring criminal damage charges against Adam Busby. These related to a non-SNLA political protest which had taken place in Berwick.

In a one-day hearing before Mr Justice Donal Barrington, Busby's legal team, headed by Mr Seamus Sorahan SC, who was himself a former Irish Republican activist, brought forward very detailed evidence to the effect that Adam Busby was a person who had been involved in political dispute with the British State for many years.

The High Court accepted this, and Mr Justice Donal Barrington in his ruling accepted that the alleged offences at Berwick were political offences and granted Adam Busby "relief" (immunity) from extradition. It would, he ruled, be "obnoxious" to the Irish Constitution to extradite Adam Busby to the UK.

There is a principle in international law which prohibits the extradition of certain categories of fugitive offenders. These categories are political, revenue and military offenders. The prohibition exists because, whereas in an ordinary criminal offence the State which requests the extradition is impartial in the prosecution of an ordinary criminal case, because it merely prosecutes on behalf of the community, in a case involving political offences against the State, or offences involving the State's revenue or its military forces, the State which requests the extradition is the actual victim of the offence and cannot be considered impartial.

In Irish law, under the terms of the 1965 Extradition Act, fugitive offenders cannot be extradited even for an ordinary criminal offence where there is a possibility that they will be forced to stand trial for a political offence or where their position may be prejudiced for political reasons, or for any other reason which would make their legal position "invidious".

As a result, it is practically and legally impossible to extradite a person who has already won a ruling from the Irish High Court which declares that they are political offenders. There has never been a second or subsequent attempt to extradite a person who has already won an appeal against extradition on political grounds.

Ireland has a written constitution which includes emphasis on personal liberty. The High Court is the constitutional court in Ireland, and it rules on all constitutional matters, including personal liberty, and since extradition involves the loss of personal freedom, extradition appeals are included among the constitutional matters on which the High Court rules.

Effectively, the ruling had rendered Adam Busby immune from future extradition attempts and, because deportation cannot be used as a "backdoor" to extradition, from the threat of deportation from Ireland.

This is a fact which the Scottish media, the politicians, and even the Scottish police have failed to grasp - as the clamour for his extradition - which has escalated over the years, even being the subject of several separate parliamentary questions recorded in Hansard - aptly demonstrates. One such question is reproduced below 

Hansard 26th October 1995:

”Adam Busby

Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans the Director of Public Prosecutions has to seek the extradition of Adam Busby from the Irish Republic.


The Attorney-General : I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 16 October 1995 by the Minister of State at the Scottish Office to the hon. Member for Kingston Upon Hull North (Mr. McNamara),

Official Report, column 16.

No warrant for the arrest of Adam Busby has been issued in England or Wales, and therefore the question of extradition to this jurisdiction has not arisen."

However, as a result of the decision of the Irish High Court, Adam Busby had won a safe legal refuge in Ireland. He has remained in Ireland ever since, and is believed to have used the Irish Republic as a base from which to mastermind the SNLA's operations.

Chapter Eleven

The Death Of Willie McRae - Murder Of Suicide?

The death of Willie McRae has become one of Scotland’s greatest mysteries, and it would require a separate book to even begin to do justice to the case.

It is important to stress at the very beginning that the McRae case does not involve a “conspiracy theory”. His shooting was investigated by the police who failed to determine whether it was an accident, murder or suicide. The manner of his death is still officially “undetermined”.

But the highest legal authorities in Scotland have repeatedly stated that it was suicide – although there is not a shred of evidence to support this – and have repeatedly refused to hold a public inquiry into the death as required by law.

Willie McRae was a 61 year old lawyer and an "elder statesman" of the SNP who was found shot in the head in his Volvo car which had crashed down a hillside beside the A87, a lonely Highland road, on April 6th 1985. McRae's death - he was pronounced dead at a hospital in Aberdeen - has been the subject of public speculation for many years.

The cause of his death has become, without doubt, the greatest mystery in modern Scottish history.

The authorities almost immediately implied that his death was suicide, there was no conclusive police investigation, and for twenty years the authorities have consistently refused demands for a public inquiry into the death. Their persistence has merely perpetuated the belief that there has been a cover up - and there has most certainly been a cover up.

Almost ten years after McRae's death, journalist John Macleod wrote very long articles for the "Herald" on March the 27th and 28th, 1995. The dates may be significant as it was immediately before the 10th anniversary of the death of Willie McRae.

John Macleod had been given official permission by the Scottish authorities to have limited access to "exclusive evidence" on the death of Willie McRae. The authorities probably hoped that by allowing John Macleod limited access to some of the documentation they would finally bring a closure to the seemingly endless speculation about McRae's death. In fact, they couldn't have been more wrong.

He discovered that the official verdict was not suicide but "undetermined" – the Scottish equivalent of an open verdict. See the "Herald" of the 27th and the 28th of March, 1995. And he bluntly stated that in his opinion the death by shooting had not even been properly investigated. He also stated that the available evidence pointed to murder, not suicide.

In fact, not a particle of evidence of suicide was ever presented to Macleod.

John Macleod's revelations sparked a renewed demand for an inquiry into the McRae case which, in 1995, was supported by no less than thirteen MPs. Despite this, the authorities still refused to hold a public inquiry.

In this chapter, I intend to dispel certain myths about this case, to introduce actual evidence linking McRae to the SNLA, and to present new and little-known evidence that there was a deliberate cover up. I will also illustrate that very senior Crown agents deliberately provided certain journalists - including John Macleod - with information which was false and which was intended to throw them off the track.

I do not say that McRae's death was definitely murder. I do not have the evidence to say that. There is not enough evidence to support a verdict of murder. Nor is there sufficient evidence to rule out murder.

But there is sufficient evidence to show that, however the death was caused, there was a cover up which was politically-motivated, and the death took place against a background of police surveillance and of intrigue.

A source who had direct access to official details of the case has told me that McRae shot himself - a theory which I will not accept without some substantial independent evidence - although, even by his account, this was no simple, uncomplicated suicide, and a great degree of culpability must attach itself to at least two police officers who were present at the time he was shot. However, that matter will be left for the end of this chapter.

But I will present evidence that McRae, a senior SNP figure, was under routine surveillance by the Special Branch because of his inks to the SNLA, and that he was being routinely followed by them up to, and on, the night that he died.

And I say that the Crown Office, aware of the potential political embarrassment and repercussions that such a disclosure would have, not just for the SNP, but for the Scottish political Establishment as a whole, deliberately covered this fact up.

If it had emerged that a senior public figure like Willie McRae was an SNLA member, the political repercussions would have been staggering.

The British State was - and still is - almost obsessively anxious to play down and denigrate the SNLA. A public exposure in a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) that a very suspicious death was the result of police surveillance of a well-known politician and public figure, who was known to be involved with the SNLA, was the last thing they wished. And they were - and are - determined to resist a public inquiry at all  costs.

Firstly, it is useful to deal with the myths about Willie McRae which have muddied the waters of the case since the very beginning.

The book "Britain's Secret War" contains good examples of some of the inaccurate and misleading stories that have circulated about Willie McRae's background and his life and death.

The authors of the book acknowledge that McRae was born in 1923. This is true.

They then go on to state that McRae graduated from university with a degree in History prior to the start of WW2 - that is prior to 1939 when he was barely 16 (!) - that he served as an Army officer at the beginning of the war - but McRae was only aged 17 in 1940 - and that by 1945, and the end of the war, he was a Commodore in the Indian Navy - although a Commodore is a very senior naval officer, and the youthful McRae is unlikely to have reached such an exalted rank at the age of 22. All of this is obvious nonsense.

At any rate, despite much painstaking research, I have been unable to find any evidence for any of the above, or for any of the other more outlandish stories which have been circulated about McRae elsewhere.

Nor was McRae "Scotland's most feared anti-nuclear campaigner" as has often been stated in newspaper articles. As the SNP's lawyer he had successfully represented the SNP at the Ayr Public Inquiry into the proposed dumping of nuclear waste in the South West of Scotland, but apart from that there is little evidence that he was ever deeply involved in anti-nuclear activities. And, if he was ever in possession of secret documents relating to the nuclear industry, then there is no evidence of this.

I was unable to discover evidence that he was even a member of CND, the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, for example.

I have also been unable to find any evidence that Willie McRae was ever involved in the Indian Independence movement during WW2. And his brother Fergus has categorically denied this.

Nor was he ever honoured by the State of Israel as has been widely reported, nor did he help to draw up the State of Israel's Constitution or maritime laws. This is sheer fantasy as McRae was not even a qualified solicitor in 1948, when the Israeli State was formed.

And he was never a member of the pro-suicide group Exit. Nor was he involved in a campaign against drug dealers in North West Scotland. This latter notion appears to have been deliberately promoted by the late Michael Strathern - who was to play a leading but dubious role in the campaign to investigate McRae's death.

And Willie McRae's alleged homosexuality is not an issue, nor is it likely to have been a motive for suicide as some have been anxious to suggest. Are we seriously expected to believe that a man like Willie McRae would be driven to suicide because of supposed shame or guilt over alleged homosexuality at the age of 61?

All these, and countless more genuine misunderstandings, pieces of disinformation and downright lies, are mere spanners in the works, mainly accidents or deliberate attempts to rubbish genuine investigations and to muddy the waters for investigators.

Much of the confusion about the McRae case is due to a misinterpretation of the known facts. And to a complete disregard or dismissal of other known facts.

For example, it has often been stated that Kenny Crawford, the policeman who actually discovered the pistol used to kill McRae some distance from the vehicle, has gone on record as disputing a supposedly crucial and definitive statement about the position of the pistol which was made in 1990 by Peter Fraser (now Lord Carmyllie), the then Lord Advocate.

In fact, on careful reading, there is no clear contradiction between their statements.

Kenny Crawford says that he found the pistol in the stream or burn, and at a point in the stream which was some yards downstream from where the driver's door of the car had been.

Lord Carmyllie's 1990 statement is misleading to the lay reader because it was crafted with the expertise typical of a lawyer, and is a masterpiece of ambiguity.

On closer examination it is wide open to hair-splitting interpretation, and only its ambiguity, given that the authorities have erected a wall of secrecy around the case, has any significance.

Carmyllie’s statement asserted that the pistol was found in the stream directly below where the driver's door of the car had been.

This has almost universally been interpreted to mean that the pistol itself was found at a point in the stream, and that the point at which it was found lay directly beneath where the driver's door of the car had been.

In fact, Lord Carmyllie did not say this specifically.

His statement could also be interpreted to mean that the pistol was found at some point in the stream, and that the stream flowed directly below where the driver's door of the car had been.

As I will show, the final position of the pistol is probably irrelevant.

Many pundits have also given much attention to the fact that no fingerprints were found on the pistol. But, given the fact that the pistol had lain in flowing water for a day or so, and was then laid out on the bare ground at the scene to be photographed, this is hardly surprising.

I present here a forensic examination of the known facts, and only the facts.

The key to Willie McRae's character is that he was a militant Scottish nationalist. Although he was well-known as a senior figure in the SNP, holding high office in the party and narrowly missed being elected as an MP, McRae was essentially a militant extremist who didn't tolerate moderates gladly, increasingly had little faith in the SNP itself, and he came to regard some of the SNP leadership with suspicion and contempt.

His former legal partner of many years, Len Murray, has stated:

"Willie McRae believed passionately in the Nationalist cause. He had been a vice-president of the Scottish National Party but his was an extreme brand of nationalism which was not universally popular within the party."

Although he maintained a veneer of respectability as a lawyer, McRae was a hard-drinking irreverent cynic with a tendency to violent outbursts and little regard for convention or the law. He kept an illegally-held loaded revolver close to hand, usually in the locked right-hand drawer of his office desk or in the office safe. And it was not an old "service revolver" as has often been stated.

In reality, it was a small Smith & Wesson .22 revolver. It was a "Saturday Night Special" (a small pocket pistol designed for civilian not military use) and by no stretch of the imagination a "service revolver".

Alec, who handled the weapon on several occasions, describes it as: "a tiny nickel- or chrome-coloured pistol. It had a sort of rectangular or hexagonal barrel with some kind of writing on it, I mean along the side of the barrel, and a pearl handled butt which was curved where you held it. I mean that the bottom of the butt was smooth and curved or rounded so that it fitted into your hand. The shape of the butt was very distinctive.

The pistol was so small that I could lay it flat on the palm of my hand, hold it in place with my thumb, and then turn my hand over. When I did this the pistol couldn't be seen. I mean that the pistol was so small that it was smaller than my hand".

McRae, who had family roots and a weekend cottage in the Kintail area, masterminded the operations of the Dark Harvest Commando, and was an early supporter and member of the SNLA. (See previous chapters for more detailed accounts of McRae's involvement in the Dark Harvest Commando and the SNLA.)

An article in "The Sunday Mail" by Joe Donnelly on 16th June 1985 is one of the first of many devoted to the McRae case. It is also significant in that it was based on information which came from a police source. It was also the first to associate McRae with the SNLA, although the SNLA are not mentioned by name.

Instead the article links Willie McRae to people involved in a major terrorist trial which took place in 1984. This was the "Supergrass" trial of Tommy Kelly, in which David Dinsmore and Adam Busby were named in the High Court as alleged SNLA conspirators.

The significance of this article has never been fully realised. Joe Donnelly, its author, had strong police contacts and, in June 1985, he was totally unaware of the statement, linking McRae to the SNLA, then being issued by David Dinsmore.

The "Sunday Mail" journalist was the first person to link Willie McRae to the SNLA, and he linked Willie McRae to the SNLA on the basis of information supplied to him by a police source or sources.

Tommy Kelly, when he was arrested for SNLA activities in October 1983, was told by Special Branch officers that he could consult a solicitor. When he asked for Willie McRae he was told: "You can't have him. You can have any other solicitor, but not him."

This is also highly significant. The only circumstances under which the police have the legal right to refuse to allow a particular solicitor to see a suspect is if that solicitor is himself a suspect in the case, or is otherwise involved as a victim or a witness.

Willie McRae was not a victim nor was he a witness. It seems to follow that he was considered a suspect, or as otherwise being involved in the case.

In fact, Tommy Kelly had been with Adam Busby and David Dinsmore when, under Special Branch surveillance, they had visited McRae's Glasgow office only two weeks before Kelly's arrest. Kelly had remained nearby while Busby and Dinsmore had entered McRae's office.

As we shall see later, there is indisputable additional evidence that Willie McRae was already a suspect, or considered as involved in the SNLA case, at the time that Busby and Dinsmore visited his office.

The SNLA states that:

1) Willie McRae was a member of the SNLA;

2) That Adam Busby and David Dinsmore visited Willie McRae in his office on September the 15th, 1983, which was the day before they left Scotland and absconded to Ireland. They state that he gave them £100 to £200 from his petty cash box to aid them in their escape. He also offered them the key to his country cottage to use as a hiding place in case they were unable to leave Scotland immediately, and as an address to give should they have to provide false information. They refused the offer of the key as they thought it was unnecessary.

They also state that Tommy Kelly, who accompanied Busby and Dinsmore that day, and who was arrested for SNLA activities only two weeks later, was left behind at the Post Office in George Square, Glasgow, while they made the short distance trip to McRae's office in Buchanan Street.

Additionally, they state that during the visit to McRae's office Busby and Dinsmore were shadowed by Special Branch vehicles which had the registration numbers: BGS425S and PSJ 136X.

In a hand-written statement, issued only weeks after Willie McRae's death, which David Dinsmore signed and which he also authenticated by an ink impression of his thumbprint, David Dinsmore related in detail the events of the day he and Adam Busby visited Willie McRae's office in September 1983, including details of the police vehicles which kept them under surveillance.

Dinsmore also stated that sometime prior to his death McRae had told him that he was followed to his second home by two men in a vehicle. According to Dinsmore, the description of the vehicle resembled one of the Special Branch cars which was known to him in 1983. That vehicle's registration was XSJ 432T.

But are the allegations of McRae's links to the SNLA actually true? Is there any evidence of this other than the claims of SNLA members themselves?

The answer is that there is absolutely conclusive evidence of McRae's links to the SNLA.

Some of the evidence is contained in the Crown Office's own documents. These are the precognitions (witness statements) in the Crown case against David Dinsmore.

Short excerpts from these have been published only once before in a very brief article by Robbie Dinwoodie in the "Herald" of February the 1st, 1992.

The relevant extracts are taken from the precognition sworn by Detective Inspector Henry Bell of the Scottish Crime Squad, and from the precognition of Detective Constable David Higgins of Strathclyde Police Headquarters Division. Higgins was the "productions officer" whose job was to examine, extract and preserve pieces of evidence for use in the trial.

Detective Inspector Henry Bell was in charge of the search of Dinsmore's home when he was arrested on May 13th, 1983. His statement reveals that several hundred items were taken during the search of Dinsmore's home:

"We took possession of a large number of documents and other items."

These documents and items were examined the following day by Detective Constable David Higgins whose task was to discard those without evidential value, and to take possession of any item which had evidential value and which would be used in evidence at the trial.

Higgins' statement describes his examination of several hundred documents and items taken from Dinsmore's home. From these he extracted only one item for use as evidence:

"I took possession from the property of a business card in the name of William McRae. I noted there was handwriting in ink on the reverse side of this card."

In other words, of the "large number of documents and other items" from the raid, only Willie McRae's business card was singled out and listed as a trial production.

And in 29 precognitions relating to a major police investigation of people who are described as "known" members of the Scottish National Liberation Army, only four people are named:

Dinsmore, Busby, another person arrested at the time - and Willie McRae.

And these are extracts taken from precognitions which are Crown documents made under oath by police officers involved in an investigation of what the police themselves describe as "known" SNLA members.

The documents taken from Dinsmore's home numbered in hundreds but only one - McRae's business card - was singled out for use as evidence. Why? A lawyer's business card is hardly evidence of anything, and it can only be assumed that the writing on the reverse of the card had some significance as evidence.

But whatever special significance the police saw in the business card, the facts prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Willie McRae was already being linked to Dinsmore, and was being involved in the police investigation of the SNLA, and that he was being involved from at least as early as May 1983.

These documents also corroborate Tommy Kelly's statement that the police refused to allow him to consult Willie McRae, and they confirm the conclusion that Willie McRae was either a suspected member of the SNLA, or that he was suspected to be involved with SNLA members.

The minimum reasonable conclusions which can be drawn from this collection of facts is that Willie McRae was himself an SNLA suspect, or was linked to an SNLA suspect at least, and that he was linked to the police investigation of what the precognitions refer to as known SNLA members.

Unfortunately, David Dinsmore has stated that he does not remember what the writing on the reverse of Willie McRae's card was. But, of crucial importance, is the appearance of Willie McRae's name in the official police records of their investigation of the SNLA.

For twenty years the SNLA's claims in regard to Willie McRae's involvement have been repeatedly ignored, ridiculed or derided in media reports. But the facts are very different. They corroborate the SNLA's statements that Willie McRae was involved in their activities, and that his involvement was known to the police.

The "Herald" article of 1st February, 1992, also deals with the vehicles used by the police:

"In a separate development, a television documentary tomorrow night will claim that police had previously followed Mr McRae along the West Highland road where he met his death in a mysterious shooting seven years ago.

Suggestions that Special Branch had the controversial nationalist under surveillance have been made before, but the makers of a Scottish Eye programme say they have now had it confirmed "by the highest official sources" that a car identified by the Glasgow lawyer himself before his death was owned by Strathclyde Police, as were two others which terror suspect David Dinsmore claimed followed him to Mr McRae's office.

Last night a spokesman said: "Strathclyde Police at no time placed the late William McRae under operational surveillance. Matters relevant to the case against David Dinsmore remain sub judice."

Dinsmore absconded overseas, but in June 1985, three months after Mr McRae died, he issued a statement claiming he had been in regular contact by mail and telephone with the SNP vice-chairman until two days before his death.

He named two surveillance vehicles as Special Branch - registrations BGS 425S and PSJ 136X - and spoke of telephone conversations with McRae; "On one occasion, he told me of driving to his second home and being followed by a brown car with two male occupants; XSJ 432T was the registration."

The makers of tomorrow's documentary claim the cars were Special Branch vehicles, including the one which allegedly followed Mr McRae to his holiday home in Kintail - a brown Chrysler later sold to a man in Telford.

Reporter Callum Macrae told the Herald: "We have established from the highest official sources that all three of these cars were operated by the Special Branch.”"

In response to this revelation about the Special Branch vehicles the police have since admitted that all the cars described by Dinsmore were Special Branch vehicles.

And, perhaps significantly, Strathclyde Police do not deny that Willie McRae was ever under any form of police surveillance. They only deny that he was under "operational" surveillance.

Even more significantly, the police have never denied that Adam Busby and David Dinsmore were followed by the Special Branch while they were on their way to and from Willie McRae's office on the 15th of September, 1983.

But, the police claim, the Special Branch vehicle which Dinsmore identified as being involved in the later surveillance of Willie McRae, was no longer in use by the Special Branch in April 1985.

In the case of two of the vehicles their history is irrelevant. Their history after September 1983 is not in question.

But the history of the third vehicle - registration number XSJ 432T - which is stated to have followed Willie McRae on an unknown date sometime before his death in April 1985 has great relevance.

The police say that particular vehicle, which was a brown Chrysler, was sold by the police on an unknown date which was prior to McRae’s death in April 1985.

We are not in a position to know when it was sold, or whether it was sold to a civilian and its registration number was then transferred to another Special Branch undercover vehicle. This custom is apparently very common.

This system means that if a suspect notices an undercover police car and then decides to check out its identity by using its registration number to access the vehicle licensing information, the suspect will only discover that the vehicle is officially registered to a civilian.

David Dinsmore - who eventually surrendered himself to the British authorities in 1993 - is unable or unwilling to comment on the matter of the vehicle's registration.

He returned to Scotland under the terms of a deal negotiated by a lawyer who represented him in Brazil. Under the terms of the deal the police in Britain were banned from even questioning Dinsmore about any offence which had taken place prior to his departure from Scotland in September, 1983. In effect, Dinsmore was given immunity from prosecution except for the offences with which he had already been charged.

He has, however, privately admitted that, immediately upon his return to Scotland in late 1993, he was very extensively and very aggressively interrogated by an English "officer" from London solely about the McRae case. Dinsmore was informed at the time that the officer had traveled from London specially to question him about the McRae case.

In view of the fact that the McRae case officially fell within the jurisdiction of a Scottish police force - the Northern Constabulary - it is interesting to speculate whether the unknown officer from London was a police officer or from one of the British Intelligence services.

But it is the information about the vehicle XSJ 432T which is important.

I have been reliably informed by a police officer that information about the vehicle XSJ 432T being sold to a civilian in Telford prior to the death of Willie McRae was allegedly provided to Arnold Kemp, the then editor of the "Herald", by Leslie Sharp, the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police. Sharp gave Arnold Kemp the information on a non-attributable basis in a confidential conversation.

Sharp had arranged a meeting with Kemp because he was increasingly alarmed at the coverage being given to Willie McRae’s links to the SNLA by the "Herald".

Leslie Sharp allegedly told Arnold Kemp that all the information provided by Dinsmore, which connected McRae to the SNLA, was totally false, and was nothing more than a propaganda exercise by the SNLA.

The Chief Constable, Leslie Sharp, it is claimed, was alarmed by the publication of the extracts from Dinsmore's precognitions which linked Willie McRae to the SNLA, and by the publication of the detailed information Dinsmore provided about the Special Branch vehicles and the surveillance of McRae.

Whether or not the information about Sharp's intervention is true, and a journalistic colleague on the “Herald” staff has confirmed that it is true, the "Herald" suddenly reversed its position after the publication of the extracts from Dinsmore's precognitions and his statement in February 1992.

For example, Arnold Kemp himself was able to write the following article:

The "Herald", June 8, 1993:

"The Legend Of Nationalism's Unlikely Saint

by Arnold Kemp

In June 1985, three months after McRae died, Dinsmore issued a statement claiming he had been in regular contact by mail and telephone with McRae until two days before his death. He named surveillance vehicles with Special Branch registrations which he claimed had been seen on the road the day McRae died.”

The passage above which I have underlined is completely untrue as Dinsmore never claimed to have any knowledge of vehicles which ”had been seen on the road the day McRae died”.

Kemp continues:

“The authorities do not deny that these were Special Branch numbers. These have been disseminated widely in London. Car numbers provided by Dinsmore were first published in the Morning Star. Dinsmore's claim unwittingly disclosed his manipulative intentions, it is claimed.

One of the numbers was indeed of a Special Branch car: but it was of a car that had been used for the surveillance of Dinsmore, and it had been sold before McRae's death."

This article clearly implies that Dinsmore's statement is a fabrication, and can only be based on a very careless reading of Dinsmore's statement by the author, or on disinformation supplied to the author, or on both. Also, very clearly, Arnold Kemp's article was based on a police source or sources.

It also totally contradicts the earlier "Herald" article by Robbie Dinwoodie which, on the 1st of February 1992, made a summary of Dinsmore's claims, which referred to three cars, one of which:

"identified by the Glasgow lawyer himself before his death was owned by Strathclyde Police, as were two others which terror suspect David Dinsmore claimed followed him to Mr McRae's office."

Robbie Dinwoodie had access to Dinsmore's statement and was aware of its exact contents. His summary of its contents is accurate:

1) That Dinsmore had identified two cars as Special Branch vehicles which followed him - before he left Scotland in September 1983 - when he visited McRae's Glasgow office;

2) That McRae had subsequently told Dinsmore that a vehicle - XSJ 432T - had followed him - on an unknown date - to his second home near Dornie.

But Robbie Dinwoodie was aware of the contents of Dinsmore's statement, while Arnold Kemp clearly was not.

In fact, I have studied Dinsmore's statement very carefully and I can state categorically that David Dinsmore did not claim to identify any vehicle which "had been seen on the road the day McRae died" - as Arnold Kemp's article states.

And Arnold Kemp's article also states that Ronnie Welsh, McRae's business partner, spent the night of McRae's death telephoning police stations along McRae's route, presumably to get help for the allegedly suicidal McRae.

This statement is also completely untrue, as Mr Welsh himself later pointed out in the "Herald" of March the 30th, 1995:

"And something else doesn't seem to fit. When Willie left the office at midday on Friday he was in cheerful spirits, had made appointments for the following week and that was it. He gave no sign that he was suicidal."

And it is interesting to speculate who told Arnold Kemp this story about Mr Welsh’s desperate calls to police stations - which is a vicious lie - and why.

What Dinsmore's statement actually says is that on September 15th 1983 - eighteen months before McRae's death - Dinsmore, Adam Busby and Tommy Kelly were followed by two Special Branch vehicles when they went to visit Willie McRae in his Glasgow office.

But Kelly did not visit McRae's office - he stayed behind in George Square in an attempt to divert the surveillance - but he was with Dinsmore and Busby shortly before and shortly after they visited McRae's office. (Tommy Kelly was not unknown to McRae either. For example, they had once both traveled from Scotland to attend a small rally in London to mark the anniversary of the execution of Sir William Wallace.

And Kelly, it will be remembered, was arrested for SNLA activities only two weeks after Dinsmore and Busby visited Willie McRae in his office. He was sentenced to ten years in prison in early 1984.)

Dinsmore then says that, after he absconded, he kept in regular touch with McRae who informed him that he (McRae) had been kept under constant and continuing Special Branch surveillance. (A similar statement of McRae's is corroborated by McRae's business partner Ronnie Welsh.)

Dinsmore then says that on "one occasion" (no date is given for this occasion) McRae informed him that he had been followed to his weekend home by a "brown car with two male occupants; XSJ 432T was the registration."

Again Dinsmore's statement gives no date for the surveillance of McRae which involved the vehicle with the registration XSJ 432T. The date could have been anytime between September 1983 and April 1985. That is: in the period between his last meeting with Willie McRae and McRae's death.

And it is certain that, if the surveillance had taken place immediately prior to or shortly before McRae's death, then Dinsmore would have emphasized the fact.

Whether or not the vehicle in question had been disposed of by the police before McRae's death in April 1985 is not a measure of the accuracy of Dinsmore's statement.

But that it was in Special Branch service for at least part of the time period covered by Dinsmore's statement, that is from September 1983 to April 1985, has been confirmed by the police themselves.

When the actual content of Dinsmore's statement is examined, the police statements actually confirm Dinsmore's statement.

And as the "Herald" article of 1st February, 1992, states, the makers of the "Scottish Eye" documentary on McRae's death were aware that the car in question (XSJ 432T) had later been sold to a man in Telford.

They had checked the car's history and found no discrepancies in Dinsmore's information. Is it conceivable that a journalist of Callum Macrae's stature, being fully aware of the car's history, would have used the information provided by Dinsmore in the documentary if the information had proved to have been incorrect?

But Arnold Kemp's article is interesting chiefly because of its inaccuracy, and because it unwittingly confirms Dinsmore's statement by confirming that all three vehicles were Special Branch vehicles: "The authorities do not deny that these were Special Branch numbers."

The journalist John Macleod, writing in the "Herald" of March 28th, 1995, is also misinformed by an official in authority. He describes the interview:

"I remember Busby and Dinsmore. ”Was McRae under MI5 or Strathclyde Special Branch surveillance?" Strathclyde Special Branch positively asserted he was not. As for the cars described by Busby and Dinsmore - that was their mischief, it is alleged.

These cars had shadowed Busby and Dinsmore. And they were Special Branch vehicles. So, in a neat move, the aspiring terrorists noted their details and later asserted that the vehicles had trailed McRae. But (big smile) in April 1985 neither car was a Special Branch car. I scribble this down."

This is interesting, especially as John Macleod took care to write it down. And there are several points here:

In a previous "Herald" article, of 1st February 1992, Strathclyde police did not positively assert that McRae was never under surveillance. They only denied that he was under "operational surveillance", and the word "operational" indicates a qualification.

Nor did Dinsmore (or Busby) state that the "vehicles" had trailed McRae. Dinsmore's statement only identified one of the vehicles as having trailed McRae.

And Dinsmore's statement did not assert that that vehicle trailed McRae “in April 1985”. He did not claim to know the date or even the year of the surveillance, only that it took place at some time after his last meeting with McRae in September 1983.

And why "neither" vehicle? Dinsmore's statement mentions three vehicles, not two.

The reference to the "neat move", by which Dinsmore supposedly alleged that the vehicles he identified were following McRae in "April 1985", is an indication that John Macleod was told much the same pack of lies as was related to Arnold Kemp.

Clearly, both Arnold Kemp and John Macleod have been misinformed by high authority as to what Dinsmore's 1985 statement actually said. But why?

The only reasonable explanation is that Dinsmore's statement has some bearing on the issue of McRae's death. If his statement was merely a simple, or even a complex, fabrication then surely it would be easy to expose it without resorting to disinformation?

But, we know from the results of the police investigation of the SNLA, on which the Crown precognitions in Dinsmore's case are based, that, as early as May 1983, the police had already established a link between David Dinsmore and Willie McRae.

John Macleod, to his credit, although hostile to the idea of McRae's links to the SNLA, still considers the proposition in a follow-up article in the "Herald" of April 4th, 1995:

"Claims have emerged that McRae was under Special Branch surveillance. But such sources have good reasons, I think, for wanting us to believe it.

Even if McRae was being trailed, I must be heretical: such surveillance could have been justified. For public safety alone, Special Branch could rightly have shadowed McRae if they thought he could have led them to certain desperadoes. Chilling as the Prevention of Terrorism Act is, its provisions exist to protect us all from random bombing and bloodshed. That Special Branch officers, however, could cold-bloodedly murder a declining political figure I find incredible. If they killed him, it would have been by "accident".

Perhaps McRae stopped and challenged them. Maybe he produced his gun. There could have been a "scene"; things rapidly getting out of hand ..."

This scenario, according to one of my own police sources, to which I shall allude later, is not too far from the truth. Nor is it unique to John Macleod.

The same scenario is referred to by a columnist in "Scotland On Sunday" on 12th December, 1994:

"Then, he (Adam Busby) says, some three or four years later, McRae allowed his office to be used by the SNLA as a surveillance base for a Glasgow letter bomb campaign, among whose targets were Princess Diana (the bomb, c/o Lord Provost Michael Kelly, exploded, injuring the provost's secretary). This is confirmed by another of the conspirators.

Finally, McRae gave Busby and David Dinsmore, also wanted by police, the contents of his petty cash tin about £200 - to enable them to buy plane tickets to Dublin. Dinsmore, no longer close to Busby, confirms this, as does another source.

It is difficult to see a motive in this if untrue, other than some vague idea of creating a revolutionary Scottish martyr. If McRae was involved, even just by providing cash and legal support, then he was almost certainly under police surveillance as Dinsmore and Busby were. In the 1970s and 1980s, as several trials have revealed, the police devoted massive resources - in one case 13,000 hours of surveillance - to keeping on top of "tartan terrorism."

If McRae was being followed, was he on that evening? If he spotted his shadowers on the lonely road, did he confront them - the ifs multiply until one disappears into the heady mists of conspiracy."

The fact that Willie McRae was involved in financing and assisting Dinsmore's escape from Scotland appears to have been known to Willie McRae's brother, Dr Fergus McRae.

In a letter, published in the "Herald" on June 15th 1993, Dr McRae admits that Willie McRae gave “help” to Dinsmore:

The "Herald", June 15, 1993:

"Willie McRae

June 11

I read your article about my brother's death (June 8) with some dismay and wondered if all this gossip would ever stop. While I agree that your account is not wild and fanciful like most of the others over the years, it repeats a lot of inaccuracies which present my brother in a false light. He never worked or taught in Israel. He was in India during the war and was sympathetic to Indian home rule, but was not in the Congress Party.

His whole concern with Dinsmore was to try to help one whom he considered a misled and misguided and rather foolish youth, and also to minimise the harmful effect publicity about him might have on the Home Rule movement in Scotland. I cannot now recall anything he mentioned about Busby.

Fergus McRae,

West Calder."

This is interesting because it acknowledges that Willie McRae knew and was concerned with Dinsmore, had given him “help”, and, quite obviously, had discussed the matter with his brother.

And the phrase that Willie McRae had tried "to minimise the harmful effect publicity about him (Dinsmore) might have on the Home Rule movement in Scotland", could easily be interpreted as an admission that Willie McRae had admitted to his brother that he had helped Dinsmore to leave Scotland in order to avoid his trial and the attendant publicity.

But did McRae do so? Did he actually assist Dinsmore and Busby to leave Scotland?

While interviewing Adam Busby about an unrelated matter in Ireland in 2001, I suddenly switched without warning to the subject of Willie McRae.

Busby, who didn't seem very anxious to convince me of anything, related essentially the same story as Dinsmore, and it was in some detail. One of the things he told me was that, in McRae's office on the day before he and Dinsmore absconded from Scotland, McRae had offered them the key to his second home and had written down the address for them so that they could use its address if they were required to provide false ID and background information.

I asked Busby if he could remember the address. He said: "Ferguslie, Camusty, Camuslongart, near Dornie."

Quite simply, this didn't seem to fit.

The house's public address is actually: "Camusty, Camuslongart, near Dornie".

There is no reference to a Ferguslie, or a Ferguslee, or any other variant of that name in maps, records or documents of any kind.

But it was later confirmed to me by a family member that the McRae family called the house itself "Ferguslie", and referred to it as such.

But how could such private information be known – never mind remembered - by Adam Busby? Unless, as Busby and Dinsmore state, Willie McRae wrote the address down for them to use in 1983 and he memorized the address then?

This information has never been published anywhere and was known only to the family and some of their friends.

It is startling confirmation that Willie McRae did supply Adam Busby and David Dinsmore with the address, and that he helped them abscond, as they claim.

Even if the rest of their story is untrue, McRae’s assistance in their flight from justice involved him in the SNLA conspiracy. As a solicitor, he was perfectly aware of this.

Willie McRae's partner in his law firm was Ronnie Welsh. In 1995, Mr Welsh gave an interview to the "Herald", in which he confirms Dinsmore's statement that McRae felt he was under constant and increasing Special Branch surveillance, and acknowledges that McRae had dealings with Adam Busby and David Dinsmore which, he states, were "purely professional".

In fact, neither Busby nor Dinsmore, both of whom were arrested in Scotland on numerous occasions, were ever legally represented in any way by Willie McRae. Nor did they ever consult Willie McRae in any professional capacity.

As Mr Welsh was a partner in the legal firm he can no doubt use the firm's or other records to correct me if I am wrong.

Certainly, my own researches have been unable to discover any form of "purely professional" relationship between the three men.

Nor does Mr Welsh explain why a seemingly respectable Scottish solicitor should keep an illegally-held loaded revolver to hand. This is a very serious crime for which, if he had been caught, he would have faced a certain appearance in court for a criminal offence which is punishable by an extremely heavy prison sentence.

I find it remarkable that no one has previously thought fit to comment on this criminal behaviour. John Macleod only refers to the possibility that, if caught with the pistol, McRae would have been struck off professionally.

In fact, he would have faced the certainty of a trial and the possibility of a heavy prison sentence, as well as personal and professional disgrace.

And - another fact blindly ignored by most commentators - this blatantly criminal behaviour on McRae's part does not endorse the picture of a man who has been eulogised as some sort of a saint and, on at least one occasion, has even been compared with Jesus Christ (by Michael Strathern).

And why, if he was not already involved in serious illegal activity, did McRae feel the need to keep an illegally-held – and loaded – revolver constantly in his possession?

If the allegations made by Dinsmore and Busby about his involvement with the SNLA are only partly true, and I believe I have proved that at least in part they are totally and completely true, and even assuming that Willie McRae only helped finance and plan their flight from Scotland, then Willie McRae was also facing charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, conspiracy and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

And I fail to see why, if McRae was not already involved in SNLA activities, Dinsmore and Busby should have turned to him for help as they undoubtedly did. Nor do I see why McRae, if he was not previously involved in SNLA activities, should have rendered them any assistance of any kind.

In fact, when approached he should have notified the police immediately of their intention to flee to avoid prosecution.

A police source has told me that McRae was "in it up to his neck". The "it" being the SNLA.

In the "Herald" of March 28th, 1995, John Macleod asks:

"Why did the Nationalists abandon this case, repudiate this man?

Why did his own family not push for an inquiry? What worse could have been said, or found, about McRae that has not hitherto surfaced? How could they let him lie these 10 years in a suicide's grave? The evidence is overwhelming."


The fact that Willie McRae was linked to the SNLA was known to some of the SNP leadership and also to certain members of the McRae family, and it was for this reason that they were so anxious to avoid a public inquiry into his death.

And it should be noted, because a number of people seem unclear on this point, that the family's wishes are not even a consideration when the decision to hold an FAI is being made. The decision to hold an FAI is a legal decision based on the circumstances of the death. It is not a concession to the wishes of the family, and the wishes of the family or anyone else who knew the deceased are irrelevant.

But Peter Fraser, the Solicitor-General at the time, even consulted with Gordon Wilson, the then SNP MP about whether a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held, as Gordon Wilson has publicly admitted.

This is very strange and very significant for three reasons:

1) The Solicitor-General is the senior Scottish law officer whose duties are somewhat similar to those of the Attorney-General in England, and who acts as a legal adviser to the government. But the Solicitor-General is not concerned with the conduct of Fatal Accident Inquiries - that is the duty of the local procurator fiscal who is responsible to the Lord Advocate - and it must be asked why the Solicitor-General was involved in any way;

2) The decision to hold an FAI is a legal decision, and should be taken independently by the local procurator fiscal regardless of the feelings of family, friends, or former colleagues of the deceased. McRae’s death is officially “undetermined” (unsolved) and the decision not to hold an FAI is suspicious in itself;

3) The decision to hold an FAI is a purely legal decision and not a political decision. By consulting Gordon Wilson, the Solicitor-General was quite clearly asking Gordon Wilson to participate in a political decision about the matter.

In fact, the decision not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry was a political decision made at the highest levels of government.

And this wasn't the only interference by Peter Fraser, the then Solicitor-General, who later became the Lord Advocate.

When David Coutts, an SNP councillor who was one of the people who had found Willie McRae's body, wanted to ask certain elementary questions about the McRae case, he wrote to the local procurator fiscal in Inverness about the matter.

To his astonishment, in response he received a reply, not from the procurator fiscal, but from Peter Fraser.

The letter was sharp to the point of rudeness, and informed Mr Coutts that the SNP leader Gordon Wilson supported the decision not to hold an FAI.

The evidence of an official cover up at the highest levels is overwhelming.

The Special Branch were involved from the very beginning - as numerous former and current police sources have revealed.

All copies of the police files were deliberately removed years ago, as the following report reveals:

"Scotland on Sunday", April 17, 1994:

"Cover Up Continues

Since mentioning last week the strange death of Willie McRae, I have had several letters and private telephone calls about the affair. Serving and former police officers involved in the case have, directly and indirectly, given me further information. There is a consistency in what they say. And it is this...

When it was appreciated that McRae was a "prominent member of the Scottish National Party", as I understand the police report recorded him, Special Branch became involved. The officer who discovered the gun in daylight found it in a burn, in front of where the car had been and a distance down stream of it. Subsequently, all copies of the police reports which routinely remain on the files, were removed."

(Author’s emphasis.)

And, in an even more remarkable occurrence, when the then procurator fiscal at Inverness, Thomas Aitchison, who was supposedly in charge of the McRae case, retired, he was warned that he was still bound by the Official Secrets Act. Specifically, he was warned not to discuss the McRae case:

The "Herald", March 27, 1995:

"New Evidence Reveals Bungles Over Willie McRae's Death

The procurator-fiscal who examined his case has been told not to talk about it to anyone. The procurator-fiscal says he is bound by the Official Secrets Act...

The case was closed formally by Mr Thomas Aitchison, the procurator-fiscal in Inverness, who decided the death was not suspicious. Mr Fraser (the Solicitor-General) made the personal decision not to order a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death. (Author’s emphasis.) Last night Mr Aitchison said the case came under the Official Secrets Act and he had been reminded at his retirement four years ago that he was still bound by the Act.

"I was told not to talk about this case to anyone," he added.

A Crown Office spokesman told The Herald that all fiscals sign the Official Secrets Act "as a matter of course" and there was nothing suspicious in Mr Aitchison's comments."

The SNP leadership and the McRae family were made aware that an FAI would unearth details about McRae's links to the SNLA, and both were anxious to avoid this, to put it mildly.

The SNP leadership moved quickly to distance the SNP from Willie McRae. The SNP monthly, the "Scots Independent" did not even mention his death, never mind give him an obituary. This is highly significant.

Nearly every month the "Scots Independent" carries obituaries of recently deceased SNP members, the majority of whom were lowly party members. That an SNP member of Willie McRae's stature, who was a former vice-chairman of the party, who wrote for the "Scots Independent", who had stood for the SNP as a parliamentary candidate - narrowly missing being elected on one occasion - and who had volunteered his services free of charge to represent the SNP successfully in the Ayr Public Inquiry - that a person of Willie McRae's stature should not receive even a modest obituary is not just strange - it has a political significance which is meaningful.

Another example is the curious behaviour of Gordon Wilson MP. Despite his assertions to the contrary, Gordon Wilson of the SNP was totally opposed to an FAI.

When Archy Kirkwood, the Liberal Democrat MP, asked questions in the Commons about the McRae case, Gordon Wilson accosted Kirkwood in the Lobby of the House of Commons.

Wilson was extremely angry and demanded to know why Archy Kirkwood was asking questions about a "drunk" and a "queer" like Willie McRae.

Years later Gordon Wilson was to state that he now favoured an inquiry into McRae's death - not that that was of any significance. The truth is that no SNP MP has ever asked a single parliamentary question about the circumstances of McRae's death.

The SNP leadership knew that exposure of McRae's activities and links to the SNLA might harm them politically. This carries on until the present time.

Arnold Kemp, the journalist, wrote an article quite recently in which he mentioned the SNLA and Willie McRae in the same piece.

In a later article, Kemp revealed that he had received a letter from Alex Salmond of the SNP taking him to task for mentioning Willie McRae's name together with that of the SNLA in the original article, and implying that he should never mention McRae's name in connection with the SNLA again.

But whatever the extent of the Special Branch surveillance, or the true identity of the car which followed McRae, which are matters in dispute, Dinsmore's statement that McRae was being followed by two men in a car while journeying to his country cottage has been independently corroborated. On at least one occasion there is independent evidence of this.

Furthermore, the evidence refers to the night Willie McRae made his final journey to his country cottage. The corroboration is indisputable as it is provided by a former police officer himself.

Additionally, he states that McRae, who was well known to him, was in a good spirits only hours before he supposedly took his own life.

Most crucially, the former police officer states that, only hours before he was shot, Willie McRae was being watched by two men, and that he was then followed by two cars when he started his journey to his weekend cottage.

My colleague David Taylor wrote the following article in the "News Of The World" on November the 10th, 2002:

"Our Tale Of Tragic McRae Jogged Don's Memory

A retired cop has come forward with crucial evidence that could help solve one of Scotland's greatest murder mysteries -after reading the News of the World.

In our Violent Scotland mag - published with the paper last week – we told how SNP firebrand Willie McRae was found dying on a lonely Highland road. Former bobby Donald Morrison was gripped by the tale...

And he revealed: "The more I think about it, the more it stinks of murder."

Donald, who was in the force for 28 years, told us how he'd been on the beat in Glasgow city centre when he spotted McRae. He added: "He was full of the joys of spring, coming out of the off-licence with a bottle of whisky in each hand."

I joked, 'Excuse me, sir, would you like to blow into this bag' because he was heading towards his car. "He told me, 'You're only jealous. I'm going to Kintail tonight and I'll be drinking with my feet up in front of a log fire'.

"I helped him do a U-turn in the traffic but, while I was doing that, I got the feeling someone was watching me. When I looked over my shoulder I saw two suspicious-looking men eyeing what we were doing. "I don't think Willie saw them. Minutes later he drove off.

"Suddenly I saw two cars pull out nearby, very quickly, as if they were in a rush to catch him up. And when I looked around, the two men had vanished."

Just hours later, on Saturday April 6, 1985, an Australian tourist found McRae on a remote stretch of the A87 in Inverness-shire. He hadn't made it to his holiday home in nearby Kintail...

And last night Donald told us: "I am not convinced that the verdict of suicide was the right one."

The 61-year-old, who now lives in Portknockie, Morayshire, added: "I hope that, someday, justice will be done for poor Willie McRae.""

This statement, coming as it does from a former police officer who knew Willie McRae well and saw and spoke to him only hours before his death, cannot be taken lightly.

Mr Morrison - who was involved in police surveillance work himself - is absolutely convinced that Willie McRae was under surveillance only hours before he was shot.

This confirms David Dinsmore's 1985 statement. It also confirms what a confidential police source has told me regarding the death of Willie McRae:

1) That McRae was known to the police to be involved in SNLA activities, and was being connected to Dinsmore and Busby;

2) That police believed that McRae would lead them to Busby and Dinsmore who, in April 1985, police still expected to attempt a secret return to Scotland;

3) That Willie McRae was kept under constant surveillance;

4) That McRae was under surveillance on the night that he died;

5) That McRae confronted two Special Branch officers who were following him and attempted to run them off the road;

6) That McRae's car crashed off the road during the confrontation;

7) That when officers attempted to reach McRae to arrest him, McRae fired two shots - one of which was a warning shot or a test shot - and the second shot he directed into his own head;

8) That, in pitch darkness, police reached McRae's vehicle, removed and discarded the pistol, and examined McRae who they believed to be dead or beyond medical assistance;

9) That, given the sensitivity of the situation, the officers left the scene, and attempted to report the situation to their own superiors in Scotland in Scottish Special Branch HQ in Pitt Street, Glasgow;

10) They were not immediately successful in contacting their superiors, and the chain of command was not fully aware of the situation until hours had passed;

11) That, eventually, a decision was taken at the highest level to disassociate the police from the death of McRae;

12) That there was no genuine investigation of McRae's death. It was deemed unnecessary as police witnesses could confirm that it was suicide;

13) That only the closest members of his family and some of his political colleagues were informed that the circumstances of McRae's death were dishonorable;

14) That a political decision was taken at the highest level not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry in order to avoid a political and police scandal, and not to spare the family's feelings.

This version of events was told to me in confidence by a source who was involved in the McRae case. He certainly believes it to be true. It certainly fits all the known facts 

But is it true?

Certainly, the background to it is true. There was a huge increase in Special Branch personnel and activities in Scotland at this time - a fact revealed by among other things the annual Chief Constables' reports of the period.

And there was extensive surveillance of SNLA suspects and everyone who could be associated with them.

This version was related to me by a person who was in a position to know the inside story of the McRae case, and who supports and defends the police actions.

But, it must be asked, how can it be proved beyond doubt that McRae shot himself, and was not shot by the police themselves during a violent struggle?

And, even assuming that McRae shot himself and the police believed that he was dead, how can the decision to abandon the scene - and a loaded pistol left there - be explained?

Is there any evidence, apart from the word of undercover policemen, that McRae actually shot himself?

Was McRae suicidal? I believe there is evidence that he was worried and increasingly anxious, and that he was also drinking heavily. And there is a perfectly logical explanation for this.

It has been repeatedly asserted by friends that McRae told them he was aware of Special Branch surveillance, and that the Special Branch were closing in on him. See, for example, his remarks to Ronnie Welsh, his business partner, which have been referred to previously.

As a lawyer McRae must have been well aware that, at the very least, he was facing arrest for conspiracy and attempting to pervert the course of justice simply because he had assisted Dinsmore and Busby to leave Scotland.

And he was also facing professional and personal ruin.

These circumstances, weighing on his mind, would have driven many perfectly reasonable people to at least consider suicide as an option.

But, even so, there appears to be no independent evidence that McRae shot himself. And there is no good or legal reason why the scene was abandoned, or any reasonable explanation of why he was left to die alone.

I challenge the Crown Office with this evidence.

Until the Crown Office discloses all the documentation which it possesses in relation to the death of Willie McRae, I will continue to assert that the only possible explanation for McRae's death involves criminality of some degree and that:

1) Willie McRae was shot during a confrontation with agents of the State who had him under surveillance because of his links to the SNLA, and they then left him to die without medical attention, rather than calling an ambulance or even officially reporting the incident.

2) For political reasons, the manner of his death, and the possible criminality of the officers who either shot him, or who were present when he shot himself, and failed to assist him or even to report his shooting at local level, was covered up.

3) The criminality was then compounded by the Crown Office and its agents at the highest levels, thus rendering them also culpable in the death of Willie McRae.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: Michael Strathern is often described, and described himself, as a founder member of the Willie McRae Society, which was set up in 1985 to press for an inquiry into McRae's death. In fact, Strathern joined the Willie McRae Society at a comparatively late date. There is no evidence that Strathern showed any interest in the McRae case until 1987.

In early 1987, nearly two years after McRae's death, and only weeks before a ceremony in memory of McRae was to be held which would involve much publicity, Strathern made his first public statement about the case.

This was a letter published in the SNP's "Scots Independent". In his brief letter Strathern writes on behalf of a previously unknown organisation which he called the 1985 Group, which, Strathern claimed, had been investigating the death of Willie McRae for a period of nearly two years. In fact, Michael Strathern did not join the Willie McRae Society (which was formed in London in 1985 by SNLA supporters) until a later date.

Strathern's letter was also the first mention of the McRae case which the SNP's monthly newspaper had carried. To the astonishment of many, the "Scots Independent" had even failed to provide an obituary for Willie McRae.

Note 2: The theory about a drugs connection was revived by Winnie Ewing, the former SNP MP, in January, 2002. The "Evening Express" reported:

"A new theory emerged today in the long-standing mystery surrounding the death of die-hard nationalist Willie McRae. Scottish political legend Winnie Ewing told the Evening Express she believes her colleague may have been the victim of a drug baron's hit."

In fact, the "new" theory is unsupported by a single scrap of evidence, and one wonders why Mrs Ewing chose to raise the matter. She has never chosen to ask questions about the McRae case in either the European or the Scottish parliaments.

Note 3: John Macleod did not mention, or did not know, about the "lone gunman". He figures in a bizarre incident which took place only a few miles from where McRae's body was found, and it took place on the same day, and at the around the same time of day, as the McRae case unfolded.

This incident involved a party of walkers on the hills being fired on by a gunman.

The incident was reported in the "West Highland Free Press" a year after McRae's death.

This incident was investigated by police who finally decided that it had no bearing on the McRae case.

It was suggested to me that the incident probably involved an overzealous gamekeeper firing warning shots over the heads of ramblers to drive them from the hills. Such incidents, although highly illegal, are not unknown and are reported from time to time.

Chapter Twelve

The Death Of Kevin Collison

As a hard-headed cynic, Willie McRae had left strict instructions in his will that he wanted no funeral service, no tombstone, no inscription, no plaque, and no permanent memorial of any kind. Nor did McRae wish any form of commemoration after his death.

Despite this, Siol nan Gaidheal (SnG), a somewhat eccentric pro-SNP fringe group, which has a penchant for wearing full Highland dress and carrying colourful banners and flags, had erected a memorial plaque on a cairn which had been erected near the site of his death.

Even worse in the SNLA's eyes, each year on the Saturday nearest to the anniversary of his death, SnG held a memorial rally at the cairn, during which SnG speakers gave wildly inaccurate accounts of the life and death of Willie McRae.

In 1992, the SNLA had contacted one of the SnG leaders, the late Michael Strathern, an elderly and highly-eccentric man who sometimes seemed to claim to be in psychic communication with McRae.

This wasn't Strathern's only peculiarity. Habitually wearing full Highland dress, he also claimed to be a native Highland crofter, although he was actually a native of the greater Glasgow area who had simply acquired a smallholding in Benderloch in Argyllshire.

When contacted by the SNLA, Strathern had prevaricated almost endlessly but had finally insisted that the memorial rallies would go ahead despite the explicit instructions in Willie McRae's will.

As a result, the SNLA decided to disrupt the forthcoming memorial rally which was due to take place in April 1992.

Threats, ordering that the rallies be abandoned, and signed by David Dinsmore (then a fugitive overseas) but posted in Glasgow, were sent to Michael Strathern, to Jackie Stokes who was another SnG leader with close links to the police, and to a hotelier who normally provided hospitality to the SnG party after the rallies. The hotelier was warned not to allow SnG people to use his premises.

A written ultimatum was also sent to the Chief Constable of the Northern Constabulary in which the SNLA demanded that the rally should be officially banned!

Failing this, the SNLA stated that they would disrupt the rally and spread chaos and disruption throughout the whole of the Northern Constabulary's area.

As a foretaste of what was to come, on a weekday prior to the Saturday of the SnG rally, the SNLA caused a bomb alert at Caledonia House in Inverness, which housed Scottish Office departments.

In response to the SNLA threats, the police mounted a massive operation to protect Siol nan Gaidheal and their rally. There was a certain irony in this as the police force involved was the Northern Constabulary - who had failed to carry out a conclusive investigation of McRae's death - while the Siol nan Gaidheal group, who relied on the police escort, liked to cultivate references to themselves as "militants" and "extremists".

On the Saturday of the rally, a coordinated series of SNLA bomb alerts caused chaos at airports and elsewhere throughout the Northern Constabulary jurisdiction. The disruption was serious. In one case, a Loganair aircraft heading for the Northern Isles was forced to circle the airport while the emergency services assembled on the ground in preparation for a full-scale emergency landing. The cost of the disruption is unknown, but it must have been heavy.

The police had concentrated their resources at the site of the McRae memorial cairn in order to protect the SnG rally. Police roadblocks had been established around the cairn and at least one helicopter was reported in the area. As the Siol nan Gaidheal party entered the area, they were convoyed to the memorial cairn by police escort vehicles.

All might have gone well for the SnG group, but for the appearance at a police roadblock of a convoy of large British Army artillery trucks, each with a trailer attached, which were coming from the opposite direction to the SnG cars. The Army vehicles were returning from the artillery ranges on the island of South Uist or Benbecula.

When informed by police at the roadblock that there were reports of the possibility of a bomb in the area ("Observer", Scottish edition, 19th April, 1992), the Army convoy put their standard evacuation procedures into effect, and the artillery convoy exited the area at maximum speed – a move which sent them hurtling at top speed towards the oncoming police and SnG convoy.

The Army convoy swept past the memorial cairn at top speed, which is located beside a stretch of the A87 road, and smashed straight into the first of the oncoming Siol nan Gaidheal cars.

One of the car's occupants, Kevin Collison, a young SnG member from Edinburgh, was killed outright in the crash.

Bombs, bomb alerts, and threats must inevitably result in tragedy eventually. That it had not happened sooner was almost a miracle. Violent death was inevitable.

The SnG rally was abandoned that day, although bizarrely Michael Strathern could not be prevented from making a speech for the benefit of the media, and the SnG rallies have since been discontinued.

Author's Note: The SNLA cynically refers to Kevin Collison as Kevin "Collision", and is quite unrepentant in regard to his death 

Chapter Thirteen

The English Colonisation

There have always been small numbers of English people living in Scotland. This was never a matter of any concern until recent times.

But during the late 1960s and 1970s very large numbers of English people began moving to Scotland, settling in the towns and cities as well as in small Scottish communities throughout rural Scotland.

According to the official figures contained in the "Census of Scotland", between 1951 and 1961 the number of English in Scotland increased by 14,582, and in the next ten year period 13,621 English immigrants made the move. After this, the numbers increased markedly with 47,389 English moving into Scotland between 1971 and 1981, and an additional 56,484 entered between 1981 and 1991.

These figures do not, however, tell the whole story. The economic, social and cultural aspects affect the whole of Scotland and are having lasting effects on rural and urban areas alike.

The ultimate fear of many Scots is that they will be reduced to an ethnic minority in their own country, that "Scottishness" will be diluted or disappear entirely, and that Scotland, as a national entity, will eventually disappear.

Fears of such a Doomsday Scenario are far from groundless. In Wales, for example, Welsh people are now in a minority, with English people, including many English people who were born in Wales but remain totally unassimilated and who are quintessentially English, forming a majority of the country's population.

The prospects for the survival of the Welsh national identity are not encouraging.

The rural areas of Scotland have been the most adversely affected to date.

Contrary to the assumptions of many, very few of the total number of English immigrants to the rural areas are associated with North Sea oil. Nor are the Highlands the only rural area affected by English immigration. Every part of rural Scotland has suffered and continues to suffer.

The effects on rural Scotland have been economic, and social and cultural.

The first adverse effect is economic and centres on the rapid increase in land and house prices. The second adverse effect includes social and cultural problems and problems of social interaction, politics and the disappearance of traditional ways of life.

On the economic side, the immigrants have had a significant effect on raising land prices in rural areas to the extent that the local farmers who may have been contemplating expansion have had to abandon their plans as land prices have risen beyond their means.

Similarly, young local people seeking to rent or buy homes find that costs are beyond their often limited means.

English immigrants are predominantly middle class, and are generally wealthier than most local people who are predominantly working class, and the immigrants have access to more sources of credit, and are able to pay more for property. As a result, Scottish people are forced out of the housing market and often are forced to leave the area.

A detailed study in one rural area shows that 15 acres of land which had sold for £400 in 1972, increased in value to £12,000 in six years. In 1980, it was on the market again and the market price was reported to be £24,000. Another study covering a number of rural areas listed the average resale value of property in 1984 at £24,602, and by 1991, this had increased to £47,611.

In certain of the areas studied, including Berwickshire and Skye and Lochalsh, less than half of the buyers were locals, and a high percentage of the non-locals were English immigrants.

Other additional pressures on local communities in rural Scotland are the closure or reduction of essential services such as public transport. Working class populations in rural areas, many of whom are elderly people surviving on State benefits, rely to a large degree on public transport, whereas wealthier middle class immigrants in these areas rely on their own private transport.

The result is that, as the local working class population declines, the provision of public transport systems becomes increasingly uneconomic leading to withdrawal of the services. This in turn puts additional pressures on the local Scottish population.

Not surprisingly, the large increase of English people in very small and fragile rural communities - whose population was already in decline, was frequently elderly and had a death rate far exceeding the birth rate - could not fail to affect the indigenous communities adversely.

As the English immigrants are younger and richer than the indigenous population of rural Scotland the net result has been population replacement. Scottish communities have now become English.

The result is that in much of rural Scotland, which only contains a small part of the country's population, but which makes up most of Scotland's territory, there is a population which is already predominantly English in birth, culture and sympathy.

There are already parts of rural Scotland, some parts of Argyllshire for instance, where there is no significant Scottish population left. English people and their unassimilated offspring make up the bulk of the population. And, of course, English immigration is still increasing, while the takeover of property and businesses is also increasing.

If some campaigners against English immigration see this situation as "accidentally" arising, the SNLA and others most certainly do not.

They point out that the British government has a long history of "racial swamping” and, for example, it was official State policy to attempt to replace the French Canadians with English speakers until comparatively recent times.

The policy is not exclusive to the British State. Until recent times, Soviet policy was to encourage Russian settlement in non-Russian areas such as the Baltic States, and to encourage "Russification".

The Chinese are currently replacing the population of Tibet with ethnic Chinese, and there are many other examples of genocide-by-replacement.

In fact, throughout the world small nations with fragile identities are under threat, and are facing national extinction, and surely, in an age when conservation is a key issue, minority national groups with distinctive cultures deserve support and encouragement to allow them to survive?

This view is described as racist nonsense by hostile commentators who like to compare the SNLA and the SSG to the National Front or the British National Party.

This facile comparison fails to take into account the ideological differences between the SNLA and the SSG and the English fascist groups. The Scottish groups are not racist per se but are fighting to preserve a national identity in decline.

They also do not consider the substantial differences between the situation in Scotland - or in many other small countries where the national identity is under threat - and the situation in large countries like England.

In England, which has a population of approximately 50,000,000 people, the combined number of coloured immigrants and their descendants is still considerably less than 10% of the population, and the immigrants are from exceedingly diverse backgrounds with considerable pressure on them to assimilate to the English language, culture and way of life.

In Scotland the situation is almost in reverse.

For the SNLA the key issue is not simply Independence but "national survival or national extinction".

English people have a dominating position in the Scottish media for example, which has implications for Scottish society as a whole.

The English in Scotland are generally not only on a higher economic level, but are also frequently in positions of authority and control. This has increased the perception among many Scots that Scotland is an internal colony of England. In this sense the "white settler issue" also has a distinctive political dimension.

Although the SNLA prefers to refer to the English immigrants as "colonists", the widespread use in Scotland of the expression "white settlers", to describe English immigrants, is also an ironic but pointed self-reference by those who deliberately identify themselves, not just as "locals", but particularly as "black natives".

All of this is part of the imaging of a Scotland whose traditions and identity are threatened by a colonial relationship to a metropolitan England, or to a cosmopolitan Britain.

The idea of internal colonialism has led to increased dialogue about the "Englishing" of Scotland and includes claims that Scotland's unique heritage is being destroyed, particularly the remnants of its Gaelic language, culture and its ethnicity and educational system.

In short the destruction of "Scottishness" and of the entire Scottish national identity.

The SNLA certainly opposes mass English immigration, and, by 1994, were preparing to campaign against it.

Chapter Fourteen

Operation Flame

In early 1994, the SNLA launched a daring and secret operation - Operation Flame - which was an attempt to establish a series of "leaderless resistance" groups in Scotland to combat mass English immigration.

The plan was to anonymously circulate a series of bomb-making manuals and other literature to as many "suitable" people as possible throughout Scotland. The manuals were a sort of "Beginners' Guide To Terrorism", and were designed to enable potential terrorists to plan and to carry out their own operations completely independently and anonymously.

These manuals and literature would be widely circulated in the name of a new (and completely fictitious) group called "Flame". The SNLA would not be openly associated with the formation or running of Flame. (Note 1.)

Those contacted would be urged to work on their own to carry out independent actions against English immigrants in Scotland, or to form small completely independent cells to carry out similar actions. Those contacted were also asked to copy and to further circulate the literature anonymously to anyone they considered suitable or likely to take action.

In this way a number of completely independent groups would (or so the SNLA hoped) spring up throughout Scotland. Each group would be completely independent, anonymous and completely unlinked to any other group.

In fact, each group would be linked only by a common ideology and the use of the cover name of Flame.

This is the classical form of organisation known as the "Leaderless Resistance Movement" - a form of organisation which has been effectively used by the Animal Liberation Front among others.

The growth of such a diverse and self-sustaining organisation would be a nightmare for the police and the security services in Scotland, who would have little or no chance of dealing a blow at the heart of any such movement, but would have to deal separately with each of the independent cells.

The creation of such a leaderless resistance movement had long been an SNLA plan, and in order to further the plan the SNLA went to great lengths to get the whole thing up and running.

The literature, called the "Scottish Resistance Handbook", was carefully prepared, copied and distributed by mail to hundreds of people. This was not an easy matter as each packet had to be fingerprint-free as well as DNA- and forensic-free.

On completion of this first part of the plan, it was decided to boost the first part of the plan by anonymously "leaking" news of Flame to the media. This paid rich dividends when the "Daily Record" published an article on Flame which included a diagram from the bomb-making manual.

The next step was for the SNLA to carry out actions in the name of Flame "to get the ball rolling". The SNLA member tasked with launching Flame was Kevin Paton of Inverurie in Aberdeenshire. A lorry driver in his twenties, Kevin Paton constructed a small number of hoax parcel bombs which he then sent to a wide variety of targets in Scotland and England.

These devices caused chaos. For example, in Aberdeen the local authority HQ was completely evacuated after a parcel was opened by an aide to a councillor. In Dundee a Scottish academic, Malcolm Dickson, who had publicly supported English immigration, had a nervous collapse when he opened a package and discovered what he thought was a bomb.

There were at least five of these attacks including attacks in England which were aimed at Persimmon Homes, a property developer based in Yorkshire which did extensive business in Scotland, and at the offices of the "Exchange and Mart" which advertised Scottish properties for sale to English buyers.

Expensive disruptions and large-scale police operations were the outcome.

Needless to say, all of the attacks were claimed by and attributed to Flame.

Another well-publicised action which took place during this period was a threat aimed at the English-born Labour MP Anthony Worthington. Mr Worthington represents a Scottish constituency and lives with his family near Glasgow.

In a threat sent to him via Labour HQ in Scotland, Mr Worthington was warned to leave Scotland within thirty days or face the consequences. In a later incident, Mr Worthington's wife received a frightening late night telephone call at her home.

This unpleasant tactic, which is really a very effective form of psychological warfare, was randomly applied to English immigrants throughout Scotland, and the amount of fear generated by these incidents - which usually went unreported - can only be imagined.

These were not the only occasions on which SNLA members carried out operations in the name of Flame - an article in "Scotland On Sunday" in May 1994 quotes an MI5 source as attributing 23 attacks to Flame - but to what extent did non-SNLA activists take part in these or contribute to Flame?

The SNLA itself cannot be sure. Alec says:

"We don't know for sure what effect Flame had on others. There was definitely a marked increase in slogan-painting, and some of this was reported in the media, and there were lots of rumours, but no major incidents were reported. Given that the media usually doesn't generally report incidents of this type or isn't allowed to report them, there is the possibility that some incidents went unreported, but we are not in a position to know."

The authorities initially appear to have accepted that Flame was a separate non-SNLA organisation, but the involvement of the SNLA appears to have been suspected from an early date, if only because the SNLA is the only activist organisation in Scotland.

In September 1994 a hoax bomb was placed outside the Sheriff courthouse in Aberdeen causing major traffic disruption. However this was not a "Flame" operation but an SNLA action, and was claimed as such.

Only a few hours afterwards the police arrested three men in Aberdeenshire. One was Kevin Paton of Inverurie, who had fronted Operation Flame for the SNLA, and the others were Terry Weber and Darin Brown of Aberdeen. Darin Brown was an SNLA member while, according to the SNLA, Terry Weber was not.

Kevin Paton, who completely collaborated with the police after his arrest, was released on bail after spending only a few days in prison.

Terry Weber, who wasn't an SNLA member, but according to the SNLA was a police informer, was also released on bail later, while Darin Brown who was an SNLA member was refused bail. But, after a time spent on hunger-strike in Craiginches Prison in Aberdeen, Brown was eventually released. (Note 2.)

Darin Brown subsequently decamped to Dublin where he had linked up with members of the SNLA's Dublin cell by the beginning of 1995. (See "The Dublin Cell" for details of Brown's activities in Dublin.)

The so-called Flame trial took place in late 1995 and caused a sensation.

Brown, having also turned informer was not tried, Adam Busby was named in court as the mastermind of the operation, and Paton and Weber received 18 months and 3 years respectively for their part in the conspiracy.

If not a brilliant success for the SNLA, the outcome was equally disappointing for the British authorities who had expended a vast amount of time and money in bringing the case to court.

In these circumstances, a combined four and a half year sentence for small fish like Paton and Weber was a poor reward for their efforts.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: The Scottish Resistance Handbook was later advertised and sold openly by the SSG. See, for example an article in the "Birmingham Post" of February 10, 1999:

"Unwelcome Extremists

An extremist group dedicated to driving English settlers out of Scotland is offering a book detailing instructions on how to make powerful incendiary and destructive devices.

The Scottish Separatist Group offers the information in what it calls a Scottish Resistance Handbook which can be used to further what it claims is its cause of "national liberation"."

Note 2: The hunger strike is reported in a number of newspapers, although all of them say that Weber was also on hunger strike. In fact, this is not true.

The "Daily Mirror" of 30th September 1994 reports:

"Jail Men To Starve

Two alleged tartan terrorists have gone on hunger strike. The pair are awaiting trial in an Aberdeen jail accused of trying to further the aims of the Scottish National Liberation Army. And a friend of Terrence Webber, 29, and Darrin Brown, 24, claimed they were prepared to fast to death. They both deny placing a hoax bomb at Aberdeen Sheriff Court."

Chapter Fifteen

The Dublin Cell

The arrival of Adam Busby and David Dinsmore as fugitives in Dublin in September 1983 saw the formation of an SNLA cell which has continued to exist in Ireland's capital for over twenty years.

Adam Busby, free to live openly in Dublin as a result of a ruling by the Irish High Court in 1984 which classed his alleged offences as political, is - allegedly – the mastermind of the SNLA campaign. It is also alleged that there is a small SNLA cell headed by Busby, which has acted as a permanent base, and which has continued to recruit and organise new SNLA members in Scotland and beyond.

Despite its small size - it has rarely consisted of more than four or five members - the Dublin cell, operating beyond the reach of the British police, has played a major part in SNLA activities. For entirely practical reasons, the SNLA in Dublin does not generally carry out attacks directly from or within the Irish Republic.

This is to avoid the attentions of the Irish police - although despite this the Irish police keep the SNLA under constant surveillance.

However, there have been times when clashes have been inevitable.

In late 1988 Adam Busby escorted a member of a Cornish organisation, "Free Cornwall", to the British Embassy in Dublin. The intention was simply to escort the visiting Cornishman to the British Embassy where a protest letter, written in both English and the Cornish language, concerning mass English immigration into Cornwall, was to be handed in to the British Ambassador.

However when the two men, accompanied by Busby's then girlfriend, approached the gate lodge at the Embassy, Busby, who remained standing on the public footpath outside, was ordered to hand over the Cornishman's camera which was in Busby's jacket pocket. Busby refused and a scuffle broke out.

It resulted in Adam Busby, the Cornishman, and Busby's Irish girlfriend, who was pregnant, invading the main building of the heavily guarded Embassy. With alarms sounding in their ears, the three penetrated the Embassy's Commercial and Passport sections before a member of the Embassy's staff produced an automatic pistol, cocked it, and jammed its muzzle into the base of Busby's nose.

The three were then bundled roughly out of the Embassy by armed Irish policemen who were normally stationed inside the Embassy. The police warned them repeatedly that they were lucky not to have been shot.

The three were then escorted from the British Embassy grounds and told they would be arrested if they did not hand over the camera.

The incident was highly embarrassing to the authorities because their own over-zealous security staff at the British Embassy had needlessly sparked off the whole incident, which they had then been unable to control.

The incident received a good deal of publicity including an article in the Irish Republican newspaper "An Phoblacht / Republican News", and in a number of major British newspapers.

Although there had been a sporadic amount of SNLA activity organised from Dublin with the arrival there of Adam Busby and David Dinsmore in September 1983, by the early 1990s Dublin was the main SNLA base from which operations could be planned and organised against targets in the UK.

This was a very successful tactic because it took advantage of the Irish Republic's laws on conspiracy - which are much more limited and less draconian than the British conspiracy laws - and there were additional benefits as, with the exception of a small number of specific offences, the Irish police have no legal right to investigate offences which take place in the UK.

By 1995 the Dublin cell consisted of at least four SNLA members and they were the subject of a lengthy and intensive investigation by the Irish Special Detective Unit - the Irish Republic's Special Branch.

In 1995 the alleged members of the SNLA cell in Dublin were Adam Busby, Hugh Smith McMahon (a native of Glasgow), Darin Brown of Aberdeen, and a New Zealand-born Gaelic speaker Tristan O' Cearnaigh. O' Cearnaigh was of mixed Scottish and Irish extraction. All except Busby were men in their twenties.

Darin Brown, as previously mentioned in the chapter "Operation Flame", had left Scotland to avoid prosecution for an alleged conspiracy to coerce Her Majesty's Government in order to establish a separate Scottish State.

Three of them - Busby, Brown and O' Cearnaigh - were arrested simultaneously in Dublin in May 1995 by detectives from the Special Detective Unit (the Irish Special Branch) on suspicion of possession of explosives. This was days after the Icarus device had been sent by air from Belfast to London. (See later chapter.)

They were held under Section 30 of The Offences Against The State Act - which is the Irish Republic's anti-terrorist legislation.

In fact all of them were questioned for up to two days about a plethora of offences which had taken place in Scotland and England. In most cases the Irish detectives were actually illegally questioning the SNLA suspects about offences over which the Irish police had no jurisdiction.

Adam Busby, Tristan O' Cearnaigh and McMahon (who was arrested at a slightly later date than the others) all remained silent after denying the charges.

However Darin Brown – the former hunger-striker - began to make lengthy statements implicating himself and others in offences which had taken place in Scotland.

He even made a lengthy written statement in which he admitted the offences with which he had already been charged in Aberdeen.

As a result of his collaboration, Darin Brown was to be given absolute immunity from prosecution in Scotland, including the offences with which he had already been charged and to which he had admitted in a written statement, and he was flown back to the UK where he was welcomed by senior police officers.

Despite the fact that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Scotland, Brown was not arrested by the Scottish officers as the law of Scotland requires. When the Flame trial took place later in 1995, Brown was not proceeded against and the Crown told the High Court that they did not know his whereabouts - although he was living under police protection at the time!

The police were anxious to use Brown as a witness against the others, and in particular against Adam Busby.

Busby eventually entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor - faxing an SNLA communiqué to media outlets in Scotland - and got a record two year sentence for this offence in March 1997.

Hugh Smith McMahon was eventually charged in connection with a bomb alert which closed down the massive Kessock bridge near Inverness in early 1995.

This was done by using a public telephone box in Dublin to make the call. According to my SNLA sources, this was an SNLA experiment which went wrong:

"The idea was that the guy in Dublin (McMahon) phoned a guy who was standing with an unregistered mobile phone in a public phone box in Glasgow.

The person in Glasgow received the call from Dublin on the mobile. Then he used the public phone to call directly to the police in Inverness. Then he twinned the phones, putting the mobile together with the public phone in Glasgow so that McMahon from Dublin could speak directly to the cops in Inverness although the call would be logged as coming from a call box in Glasgow.

The idea was to confuse police intelligence and send them on a wild goose chase. McMahon wasn't known to the police so it didn't matter when his voice was recorded. What mattered was that the police would be looking for someone with McMahon's voice who was in Glasgow that night. Obviously McMahon could have proved that he was in Dublin that night, so that, even if he was picked up in Scotland at a later date, they couldn't have proved the charge against him.

Unfortunately it all went wrong on the night. McMahon's voice was so indistinct when it was relayed that it couldn't be understood. The relay system wasn't dependable.

So McMahon thought "Fuck it ", and made the call directly from Dublin to Inverness. He told the Inverness cops that there was a bomb on or under the Kessock bridge, which was then sealed off and it was thoroughly searched the following day.

Nowadays telephone calls are easy to relay. This is all thanks to modern mobile technology such as the Hands Free speakerphone on mobile telephones."

McMahon was eventually charged with the offence before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin which was set up to deal with terrorist offences, and early in 1997, he was remanded in custody to join Adam Busby in Portlaoise Prison.

In fact, it took over four years from the date of the commission of the offence to convict the astute Hugh Smith McMahon. He obtained bail, was released from Portlaoise Prison, and then took a protracted legal action to contest his arrest, and he continued to use up valuable police and court time in legal wrangles.

Finally, in May 1999, the Irish authorities were so fed up with the expensive case that they reached an agreement whereby McMahon agreed to plead guilty in return for a non-custodial sentence, conditional upon McMahon agreeing not to associate with any member of any criminal or subversive organisation for a period of two years.

James Freeman, Home Affairs Correspondent of the "Herald" of Glasgow, reported:

"A man linked to the Scottish National Liberation Army who caused a major alert by phoning a bomb warning to police in Inverness was given a two years suspended prison sentence by Dublin's anti-terrorist Special Criminal Court yesterday."

Needless to say, the "Herald", a newspaper which, if this is possible, is even more hostile to the SNLA than any other newspaper in Scotland, did not explain why the "major alert" at the Kessock bridge for which McMahon was convicted was totally unreported at the time it took place.

For example, a Scottish police officer, Detective Inspector Hector McRae of the Northern Constabulary told the court that the huge bridge had been completely closed for two hours, causing traffic diversions and serious problems for the emergency services.

Nor did the "Herald" report that McMahon had worn down the Irish police and legal authorities in a mammoth legal campaign.

Detective Superintendent Peter Maguire of the Irish Special Branch told the court that McMahon was only one of a number of people in Dublin associated with the SNLA who were being kept under surveillance by the Irish police in 1995.

The case of McMahon illustrates the predicament facing the Irish police. Although very few overt offences have ever taken place within the Irish Republic, and the Irish police have no legal powers to investigate SNLA attacks in the UK, they are required to use a very considerable amount of specialist police manpower and resources, which are already in short supply, just to keep the SNLA in Dublin under constant surveillance.

Chapter Sixteen

The SSG - The Scottish Separatist Group

The SNLA has a long history of forming legal support groups - most of which have been singularly short-lived and unsuccessful.

The Scottish Separatist Group or SSG is the exception. Formed in 1995, the SSG has the same basic aims as the SNLA. These are:

1) To halt and reverse mass English immigration into Scotland;

2) To restore Gaelic to its former position as the official language and the vernacular language in use throughout Scotland as a whole;

3) To establish and maintain a totally independent Scottish Republic.

The Scottish Separatist Group is a legal political organisation, which gives political support to the SNLA.

But the question of the exact relationship between the SSG and the SNLA is clouded by doubt.

The SSG has engaged in many perfectly legal activities for many years. In 1996 it produced two issues of a magazine called "The Scottish Separatist", copies of which were openly sold and are in the literary record libraries, and a variety of literature including regular monthly bulletins.

It has used the Internet to organise protests and has campaigned on a whole series of issues over the years, including, somewhat remarkably for a Republican organisation, arranging for a question on the case of the Glasgow Two to be asked in the House Of Lords. (Note 1.)

It has even made legal complaints against the police about the treatment of SSG members and associates.

On another occasion, the SSG used race relations legislation to condemn Sara Marsh, an English librarian in Buckie Community High School in Banffshire, as an "anti-Scottish bigot" because she had contributed to the book "Bloody Scotland". See "Serious separatists throw the book at English librarian", in the "Herald" of January 14th 1999, by Gavin Madeley.

The "Herald" described the SSG as an "anonymous group, which operates from an Internet site and a series of PO box numbers in Scotland, Dublin and the US".

The SSG were less than happy with the ""Herald" article and threatened to take legal action for libel against the newspaper. However, due to the high financial costs of the proposed legal action, the action was dropped.

The SSG has its own website which it shares with the SNLA and which is hosted by the Russian Maoist Party - it was originally hosted by Angelfire which banned it after pressure from Archy Kirkwood MP - and it has operated a series of Post Office boxes in the USA, in Dundee, Dumfries and in Dublin. It has even sold its own lapel badges and T-shirts and other materials.

According to the SSG its members are strictly limited to Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) and are absolutely forbidden to take part in violent activities.

But is the SSG simply a legal front for the SNLA? Or is the SSG simply a name used by the SNLA when it wishes to take part in legal activities?

This is a suspicion shared by many.

In 1999 the SSG's then National Organiser - a Dundee resident - was briefly remanded in custody for an alleged breach of the peace caused by sending an SSG Press Release to the "Press & Journal" newspaper in Aberdeen.

The charge was later dropped, and as the charge never seemed to have any real substance, and as no further charges were brought, it is clear that a number of SSG members operate openly, legally and independently of the SNLA.

It is also clear that an organisation as obsessively concerned with secrecy and security as the SNLA would be unlikely to encourage its members to allow themselves to be identified by participation in the open activities of the SSG.

The matter is open to speculation, but there is little doubt that there is a small body of SSG members who operate legally and independently of the SNLA. At the same time there is no doubt that the two groups are closely and intimately linked. (See Appendix 1.)

Note 1: The Glasgow Two are "TC" Campbell and Joe Steele who were wrongfully convicted of mass murder in the High Court on the testimony of a perjurer who was deliberately induced to give evidence by the Crown. After spending many years in prison protesting their innocence they were eventually released and exonerated.

It should be pointed out that neither Mr Campbell nor Mr Steele have or ever were alleged to have any connection to the SNLA.

Chapter Seventeen

The Strategy Of Disruption

According to SNLA doctrine, warfare is not just a lethal game. Its roots are essentially economic.

Warfare equals politics, and politics equals economics. The economic element in warfare is the essential element.

It is not only the motive for offensive wars, but the seizure, denial to or destruction of the enemy's economic resources and assets is the means by which wars were, and are, waged and won.

In former times, when society's economy was essentially agriculturally-based, wars were fought for the possession of land and the economic resources which the land provided. Troops, for example, were trained to take, hold and defend land. This is still the essential role of infantry soldiers.

Thus, in former times, when land was the prime economic resource, irregular and paramilitary forces strived for the control of land and its economic resources in order to acquire it for themselves and in order to deny it to the State.

But, the SNLA doctrine states, while this emphasis on the possession of land may still be relevant in parts of the Third World, it is totally irrelevant in the Developed World, where the prime economic resource is not agricultural but the industrial and service-based sectors. These sectors in their turn depend upon the provision of essential utilities and services such as electricity, water and transport.

The traditional scenario where guerrillas live and operate in rural areas which they seek to control is a non-starter in the Developed World.

In the Developed World, the State is a highly centralized and integrated political, social and economic entity which is powered by its economic base, and the population is essentially urban.

Thus in the Developed World the State can only be effectively attacked by the disruption or destruction of the State's economic base, and the essential utilities and services which support the State's economic base.

The SNLA argue that, no matter how spectacular an attack is, and no matter how many lives are lost, an attack is irrelevant unless it causes significant economic damage to the State.

A spectacular attack on an Army base which kills several soldiers is irrelevant because it causes no real economic damage to the State, and the loss of life is simply the loss of small amounts of what, in economic terms, is simply "human capital" which is cheap and easy to replace.

Such attacks can never win strategic advantage. Only major economic damage threatens the State.

But effective attacks on the State's economic base must cause major and irredeemable economic damage. This means that the economic loss must be significant, and the losses cannot be recovered or replaced by any other means.

For example, if property is destroyed or damaged, the actual economic loss, if any, is likely to be insignificant. The property's owners do not lose because they are covered by insurance.

The insurers do not lose because of the economics of the insurance industry. Insurance companies take in vast amounts of money in policies each year. And each year they pay out approximately the same amount in insurance claims. Their profits derive from the interest they accumulate by investing the money they take in as policies.

Insurance companies are themselves insured by re-insurance – the insurer’s insurance – against excessive claims.

They take no risk themselves, but actually profit from others’ losses. If there was no risk to others the insurance companies would go out of business.

If there was no risk there would be no business and no profits. But if the risk to others is increased the insurance companies get increased business and increased profits.

For example, if a paramilitary group begins a campaign of destruction of property, the insurance companies not only do not lose, they can expect to increase business and profits.

The insurance companies, in the event of a campaign of property destruction, increase the cost of property insurance and can expect to sell more insurance at increased prices, because there is an increased risk.

But insurance companies do not insure against loss of business or a drop in profits. Nor do they insure companies against the losses incurred by disruption.

So the emphasis is on disruption rather than destruction. This is essential to an understanding of the Strategy Of Disruption - a strategic disruption of whole areas, businesses, transport networks and other public services, which has been frequently used by the SNLA and others.

A typical example of the Strategy Of Disruption is when bomb alerts (whether genuine bombs are actually involved or not) force the closure of a city's road and rail networks before or during the morning rush hour, and if the bomb alerts paralyse the city itself, then nearly every business in the city will suffer major economic losses for which there is no insurance coverage.

Even if a business premises is not evacuated, then they will probably find themselves with a shortage of staff and only a handful of customers, while material deliveries will be delayed or suspended. The staff, customers and deliveries are caught up in the traffic disruption caused by the bomb alerts.

During early 1997 the Provisional IRA used this method to paralyse England's transport system. The rail system, the motorways, the air and sea ports were regularly paralysed by bomb alerts (almost all of which eventually turned out to be hoaxes) which totally disrupted the whole country's transport system.

This in turn affected nearly every major town and city in England, and thousands of businesses throughout the country suffered very major economic losses which, because they could not be covered by insurance, were irredeemable.

The Strategy Of Disruption has frequently been used by the SNLA.

The effects of the SNLA's use of the technique of Strategic Disruption are best illustrated by the events which took place in Birmingham - England's second largest city - on Saturday the 18th of March 1995.

The SNLA had firmly established a local presence and demonstrated an explosive capability in the city only a few days earlier by posting three letter bombs from Birmingham to targets in Scotland and England. Then another minor incident was staged in the city a few days later.

Finally, having prepared the ground, the SNLA was ready to disrupt the city of Birmingham by issuing a warning to the media of three (non-existent) bombs.

Early on the afternoon of Saturday the 18th of March, 1995, an SNLA member telephoned a bomb warning to a Birmingham newspaper.

Alec tells the story:

"There is always a small risk in telephoning the media because the call might be recorded, but the risk was worth it. Not only is there likely to be a propaganda value because the media knows at first hand what is happening, but the police are more likely to be prompted to react to a warning transmitted to them by the media than one sent via the Samaritans, for instance.

Basically, the guy who made the call to the Birmingham newspaper told them he didn't give a flying fuck if they recorded the call, but he told them that at 3 o'clock, I think it was, three bombs were set to go off in Birmingham. He said the bombs were inside three large shopping centres, the Bull Ring, the Pallisades and, I think, the Plaza. Then he gave the magic word (the SNLA codeword) and rang off. This was about 2.30 or thereabouts, and the timing was deliberate. We needed to give enough time for the newspaper to contact the police, and for the police to assess the threat and then carry out evacuations.

What happened then was that the message was passed on to the police by the newspaper. These messages always go to the police control room where there is a permanent link-up to the Special Branch. The Special Branch immediately performs an RA based on the message. RA means Risk Analysis or Risk Assessment.

The RA is used to assess the extent and the validity of the threat. For example, if some drunk phones in to say he's got a thermo-nuclear device which he'll detonate unless he gets the Queen's head on a plate in the next hour, then it isn't going to be taken very seriously. However, all threats are assessed and there's some sort of police action on all of them.

Even the drunk who says he's got the thermo-nuclear device will start a minor investigation to catch him, but, of course, he won't cause an evacuation or cause any real damage.

To cause any really significant disruption the threat must be very credible.

It is a sort of points system. The RA asks: Did the caller use a codeword or give the name of a known organisation, and if so, does the organisation have a local presence and an explosive capability? If it does, then the police will order an immediate evacuation.

As we had taken great care to establish a local presence in Birmingham and had sent letter bombs from there only a few days before, we clearly had a local presence and an explosive capability. The result was that the police ordered the immediate evacuation of all three shopping centres.

This couldn't have been an easy task for the police. Those shopping centres in Birmingham are massive and contain hundreds of individual shops. There were many thousands of people literally packed inside them because we had deliberately chosen to do this on a Saturday afternoon because it was the busiest shopping time of the week.

What happened was that the police had to evacuate the shopping centres in a big hurry.

Most people don't realise that the police don't - or can't - just go round politely asking people to leave at their own convenience, or giving shopkeepers the time to close up shop, and so on.

They just go round as quick as possible ordering people to drop everything and get out immediately. Then they have to stop the traffic in the streets, and establish safety perimeters which are usually at a radius of at least 100 metres and often more from the site of the suspected device.

But there were supposedly three bombs in Birmingham that day, all in the same area. And the suspect sites had been carefully chosen and were in a rough triangle within the city and were grouped quite closely together.

So the police were forced to evacuate the whole of the area in order to establish a secure perimeter. And this was in the heart of Birmingham's shopping area on a busy Saturday afternoon, at the peak of the weekly shopping rush.

They closed down everything in the area including New Street railway station and the rail traffic passing through it was also stopped, and the bus station nearby was evacuated too.

There is an integrated transport system and so everything was affected. Even the links to the airport via the rail and road networks were shut down, and the motorway traffic was affected too as Spaghetti Junction is close by, and they had to shut down access roads leading to and from the motorway.

Rail, road and pedestrian traffic in, out and through the city was gridlocked, and this spread like a ripple effect or a chain reaction through the whole city as masses of traffic was diverted away from the city centre and hundreds of thousands of pedestrians - I think the figure was in excess of 250,000 people - were streaming out of the area on foot and blocking more streets.

There was severe social and economic damage to the city of Birmingham as thousands of shops, pubs, offices, hotels and restaurants and other businesses were shut down. And they stayed shut down for many hours, until the whole area had been searched inch-by-inch for the non-existent bombs.

The economic losses were severe and there was no insurance compensation. See the Birmingham media reports of the time for their estimate of the economic losses.

All the coverage this got in Scotland was a page two article in the "Record" a couple of days later which falsely quoted an SNLA source, who is quoted as saying that the damage must be in thousands. The fact is that the guy never spoke to anyone from the "Daily Record", and the economic losses would have run to millions of pounds - not thousands.

But you get to expect this from the Scottish media, and the article was really intended to play down the extent of the economic damage.

So to do real damage the emphasis is always on disruption not destruction.

In order to win, we must be in a position to cripple the British economy, to put a knife to their economic jugular, and to be in a position to do this at any time we wish and as often as necessary, and not just do it once or twice.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: The Strategy Of Disruption is also used extensively by eco-warriors and animal rights activists as the following report illustrates:

22 March, 2002, BBC:

"Hidden Camera Traps Bomb Hoaxer

An animal rights activist has been jailed for four years for a series of hoax bomb calls - including one which led to the evacuation of the London Eye.

Neil Bartlett admitted making calls to companies he alleged had links with the animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences or which he accused of polluting the planet. He was eventually caught when the calls were traced to a phone box.

Judge Anthony Thorpe said: "Offences of this nature cause great concern to the public, particularly in the light of terrorist attacks all too common all over the world.

"The courts have a duty to protect the public particularly from acts tending to induce fear and panic."

Michelle Strange, defending Bartlett, said he took full responsibility but did not realise how much disruption he caused. "He had no idea of the number of people's lives which would be interrupted."”

Note 2: The SNLA carried out what was probably its largest ever strategic disruption in London on the 24th of December, 1996 - that is on Christmas Eve, 1996, which is the busiest shopping day of the year with the last minute Christmas rush.

The London rail system was paralysed as a result, while road traffic was also severely disrupted. The disruption was aimed directly at the railway system. Coming on the eve of a major public holiday, the effects of the disruption were particularly severe and harder to deal with. How could stranded passengers reach their destinations - or services be restored - when the whole system was already geared to a virtual closedown for the holiday period?

This incident was never widely publicised.

Chapter Eighteen

The Impact Of The SNLA

What effect, if any, has the SNLA had on the Scottish political situation? The SNLA came into existence as a result of the Labour government's failure to implement Devolution in 1979. That failure triggered a wave of SNLA militancy in Scotland which has lasted for over twenty years.

From 1994 onwards, with the almost certain prospect of an incoming Labour government in the near future, the SNLA began to target Labour party targets regularly and, from 1995, continuously.

Previously only one SNLA attack on Labour - the arson attack on Labour's Scottish HQ – had taken place since 1982.

In 1994 the SNLA (and many others, including seasoned political observers) believed that Devolution would never be granted, although it was still official Labour party policy.

Instead the SNLA believed that there would be years of constitutional wrangling followed by another rigged referendum.

The SNLA thought it likely that, for example, Labour would introduce a clause to the effect that if a single Scottish region, encouraged by an anti-Devolution campaign in the media, such as was seen before the 1979 referendum, voted against or opted out of Devolution, then the future Labour government would refuse Devolution to Scotland.  

Effectively Labour could say to the people of Scotland: "We offered you Devolution and you turned it down", and then wash its hands of the whole business. The largely English-populated Highlands seemed the most likely Scottish region to be involved in the rejection of Devolution.

This suspicion was based on Labour's record on Devolution. Until 1945 Labour in Scotland had stood on the twin platforms of Socialism and Home Rule for the Scottish people. (Incredibly, given the Labour party's future policies, they also advocated returning the land of Scotland to the Scottish people.)

But, once elected to government in 1945, the Labour party simply dropped its previous "commitment" to Devolution. As the memoirs of prominent Labour leaders of the time make clear, Labour never had the slightest intention of implementing Devolution.

See, for example, the memoirs of Thomas Johnston, a prominent Labour "Home Ruler" of the period. In his memoirs, published many years later, Johnston poured scorn on the very idea of a separate Scottish parliament, and bluntly admitted that the whole Labour policy was based on cynical political expediency.

Given Labour's record on Devolution in 1979, the SNLA and others believed that Labour's revived commitment to Devolution was just more political expediency, and that it would never be implemented.

This seemed to be borne out by the curious political record of Tony Blair. An Englishman born and educated in Scotland, Blair had a previous record as a vociferous opponent of Scottish Devolution.

In the mid-1990s the evidence suggested that Blair's and Labour's new-found enthusiasm for Devolution was simple and cynical political expediency.

As a result, the SNLA decided to target Labour from 1994 onwards in order to prove their point and to prevent a re-run of all the years wasted on constitutional trickery prior to 1979.

It should be noted that the SNLA was not an advocate of Devolution. In fact it opposed Devolution as a blind alley into which constitutional nationalists would be drawn. To the SNLA the issue was, and is, "not Devolution but Revolution!".

The intention of the SNLA from 1994 onwards was not to force Labour to implement Devolution, but to take maximum advantage of the situation when, as they expected, a future Labour government would renege on its commitment to Devolution.

In brief, they would begin to attack the Labour party while it was in opposition, and then redouble their efforts against the future Labour government when, as the SNLA expected, they began stalling on Devolution, thus turning the expected wrangle over Devolution into an assault on constitutionalism itself.

To this end the SNLA began to include numerous targets from Labour in its campaign from 1994 onwards.

Then, in March 1995, Tony Blair was sent a letter bomb which arrived at his Sedgefield constituency home. Mr Blair was then attending the Labour party conference at Inverness where he was outlining his plans for Devolution.

Only a matter of hours afterwards, an aircraft which was supposed to be carrying Mr Blair from the Labour party conference in Inverness to a meeting in London was evacuated and searched on arrival in London. This was the result of an SNLA bomb alert.

Mr Blair was not present. By chance, he had been slightly delayed at the Inverness conference and had missed the scheduled flight by just eleven minutes - which leads one to ask just how the SNLA had been able to obtain such detailed information about the Leader of the Opposition's exact movements.

Details of Mr Blair's movements were subsequently restricted for "security reasons", and this continued for some time after he became Prime Minister in 1997.

At the same time George Robertson MP, a prominent member of Labour's Shadow Cabinet, was sent a letter bomb while he was in attendance at the Inverness conference. And another letter bomb was sent to the Labour party's UK HQ in John Smith House, Walworth Road, London. The Labour HQ had to be partially evacuated while the bomb was dealt with.

There were reported to be another three letter bombs in the post, and an urgent alert to be on the lookout for letter bombs was issued to potential Labour party targets throughout the UK.

Around the same time Mr Blair was attending a meeting in his constituency at what "Who's Who" lists as his local club, the Trimdon village workingmen's club, when the premises were disrupted by yet another SNLA bomb alert. In a bizarre twist, a bingo game which was taking place in another part of the club was disrupted at the same time as Mr Blair's meeting.

Again the question of the how the SNLA was able to obtain such accurate intelligence to enable them to track Tony Blair's exact movements must be asked. More to the point is the fact that, if Tony Blair ever had any doubts that he and his party were being targeted by the SNLA, then any such doubts were being very rapidly dispelled.

With the sensational Flame trial taking place later in 1995, and a series of letter bombs, threats and hoax parcel bombs aimed at Labour party targets including - again and again and again - Labour's Scottish leader, the unfortunate George Robertson MP, the SNLA was maintaining a very high profile, and keeping up tremendous pressure on the Labour party.

During this period George Robertson was involved in a long-running and an embarrassing (for Robertson) public confrontation with Adam Busby, which had also involved the SNP.

On this occasion, Busby mocked him in the media when Robertson complained that receiving letter bombs was a frightening experience for those who received them, and Robertson referred to the "darker side of nationalism" which the SNP were, he said, at least partly responsible for promoting.

These remarks outraged the SNP - not unnaturally since the SNP is strictly and devoutly constitutionalist in its outlook. (See the "Scotsman" article: "Salmond leads attacks on Robertson "smear"", by Severin Carrell and Peter MacMahon of September 21st, 1995, and similar articles in other newspapers.)

Days later, George Robertson was promptly sent yet another postal device, and the SNLA officially declared war on the Labour party.

Adam Busby had publicly replied to Mr Robertson by asserting that the SNLA was setting the agenda for Robertson - and that the SNLA was placing the balls for Robertson to kick, as the "Scotsman" reported on Monday September 25, 1995:

"Robertson Target Of Bomb Hoax

By Severin Carrell

Home Affairs Correspondent

Police are investigating claims made that Labour politicians in Scotland are to be targeted in another spate of hoax letter bomb attacks by Scottish nationalist extremists.

The warnings came after a hoax parcel bomb addressed to the shadow Scottish Secretary, George Robertson, was opened at the Labour Party's headquarters in Glasgow on Saturday morning by the party's general secretary, Jack McConnell…

"It was a point well-made," he (Busby) said. "We're placing the balls and Robertson is kicking them." The incident coincided with an escalation in wider militant nationalist activity, he added."

The SNLA campaign against the Labour party - and in particular Labour's chief Scottish spokesman George Robertson MP - continued right up until the General Election of 1997 with Robertson receiving a whole series of hoax parcel bombs and genuine letter bombs and threatening letters at home and at work.

This sustained campaign against the Shadow Scottish Secretary lasted from March 1995 until April 1997 – immediately prior to the 1997 elections which brought Labour to power. Quite clearly, it was a coordinated campaign which was designed to intimidate the Scottish Labour leader.

Each device meant an evacuation, disruption, and each had to be dealt with by the bomb squad. And each meant a time consuming police inquiry. There was also considerable danger from the genuine devices. The effect all this had on Mr Robertson’s nerves can only be left to the imagination.

When Mr Robertson, then Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, criticised as too lenient the two year sentence received by Adam Busby in March 1997, Busby wrote to him from Portlaoise prison cheekily thanking him for his concern.

Shortly afterwards, George Robertson was sent yet another hoax parcel bomb (reported to contain a small artillery shell) which caused considerable disruption. A furious and rattled Mr Robertson seemed to blame Adam Busby - still in prison in Ireland - for the incident and referred to the letter he had received from Busby only a couple of weeks earlier.

Adam Busby had written to him, Mr Robertson told one newspaper, to let him know that he (Busby) was keeping an eye on him. ("Daily Record", April 8th, 1997.)

The device, and one sent to Tony Blair c/o a Glasgow newspaper office, caused major disruption when a Glasgow sorting office and the newspaper building had to be evacuated. Police described the devices as "elaborate hoaxes".

In an another alleged "coincidence" (although the coincidence stretches the imagination somewhat) at approximately the same time a contact of Adam Busby's, an SNLA supporter who was already serving a 5 year sentence for serious assault in a Scottish prison, also sent a death threat to Mr Robertson in March 1997. It was opened in his home by Mr Robertson's wife on March the 20th, 1997.

The SNLA supporter got an extra three months imprisonment.

According to the "Daily Mail" of Friday the 23rd of October, 1998, and other reports of the case, the court was told that the death threat was sent in the name of the SNLA.

Significantly, he had also sent a death threat to the Labour MP for Clydebank and Milngavie, Tony Worthington. Mr Worthington is an Englishman who had first been targeted by the SNLA during Operation Flame in 1994.

There is indisputable evidence that the SNLA were deliberately keeping up the pressure on the Labour party with a sustained campaign against them.

And during the same period, the British economy lost millions to the SNLA’s repeated use of the Strategy Of Disruption.

Did the SNLA's intervention have any effect on the Labour party's decision to implement Devolution when it eventually came to power?

There are very strong suggestions that it did have a definite influence. Tony Blair, previously a committed anti-Devolutionist, is known to have moved quickly to quash plans for an anti-Devolution campaign within the Labour party.

It is also true that Labour quickly pushed through Devolution legislation for Scotland as soon as it gained power in 1997. But, interestingly, Labour's policy plans of devolving power to the English regions have not been implemented, although these plans were an essential part of the Labour party's Devolution "package".

In fact Labour entered government in 1997 with two pieces of planned legislation which were intended to deal with nationalism in Scotland.

The first piece of legislation involved the establishment of Devolution.

The second, announced In December 1997, was a new Crime and Disorder Bill which was intended to make all forms of anti-English activity illegal in Scotland. The Bill also proposed that it should become a criminal offence simply to speak out against English immigration. Clearly, this was aimed at the SNLA, and even the SSG's legal activities would have been outlawed.

This was an extraordinary proposal. People and groups have been prosecuted or banned previously for their actions, but never for the advocacy of their aims.

In fact, due to the civil rights implications - the intended legislation would have restricted the right to freedom of speech - the relevant sections of the intended legislation were never passed, but the fact that the Labour government was prepared to attempt its introduction is an indication of how seriously they regarded the SNLA's activities during this period.

The implications are that the Labour party, and particularly Tony Blair and George Robertson, and many of their senior colleagues, some of whom like themselves had personal experiences of SNLA violence, were very mindful of the growth of militant nationalism in Scotland which came into being as a result of Labour's failure to implement Devolution in 1979. The implication is that they feared an even more violent outbreak of militant nationalism if they reneged on their commitment to Devolution again.

By implementing Devolution were they trying to breathe new life into the harmless constitutional nationalism of the SNP, while attempting to prevent a growth in the militant activities of the SNLA and the SSG?

This scenario is likely to be hotly debated but the argument is well worth considering.

The point has not escaped some political observers. For example:

"Reflections On The Lessons Of Kosovo

By Dr. S. Sathananthan

Proceedings of International Conference On Tamil Nationhood & Search for Peace in Sri Lanka, Ottawa, Canada 1999

Despite the colonial foundation of Britain, argued English ideologues, the spread of liberal values, the guarantee of individual rights, the stable Westminster democratic system and, most importantly, the independent judiciary contributed to the unificatory British nationalism; which allegedly had eradicated the need for Wales and Scotland to regain their independence.

But the sustained struggles of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA) have made Scotland's independence virtually certain; and the SNP has declared that Scotland will regain its independence by the year 2007, the 300th year of its subjugation."

Sachithanandam Sathananthan is a distinguished academic who read for the Ph D degree at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and is a documentary film-maker who has produced documentaries broadcast by, among others, Channel Four Television, London.

It should also be pointed out that, in the trial of Andrew McIntosh (1993) and in the Flame trial (1995), the accused were charged and convicted of an SNLA conspiracy to coerce Her Majesty’s Government in order to establish a separate Scottish State.

That the aim of the SNLA campaign was the coercion of “Her Majesty’s Government” was clear to the legal authorities in Scotland.

In a curious footnote to this whole question it should be noted that the only previous occasion in modern times when Scottish nationalists forced the government to legislate was in 1953, and this was also in response to illegal activity.

When the present Queen was designated as "Queen Elizabeth the Second", this caused considerable outrage in Scotland as the first Queen Elizabeth had never been Queen of Scotland.

As a result there was a sustained campaign of vandalism by Scottish nationalists which was chiefly aimed at Royal Mail pillar boxes in Scotland which bore the EIIR monogram.

In response to this, the government withdrew the EIIR monogram from use in Scotland. It also introduced the Post Office Act of 1953 which made vandalism or interference with Post Office pillar boxes a specific offence carrying a sentence of up to two years imprisonment.

Alec says of this: "It is not over-simplifying the matter, but the point is that a few people armed with paint brushes were able to force the British government to pass legislation, while a political party like the SNP which has had umpteen elected MPs has been unable to pass or even influence a single piece of legislation in all those years."

Author's Note: George Robertson was re-elected in the 1997 General Election but, in a surprise move, the former Shadow Scottish Secretary was re-shuffled to the Ministry of Defence in the new Labour government. He is now Lord Robertson and was Secretary-General of NATO for several years.

Chapter Nineteen

Operation Icarus

The SNLA launched "Operation Icarus" in early 1995.

The action was called Operation Icarus from the name of the legendary character in Greek mythology who attempted flight, and died when he fell, the heat from the sun having caused his wings to melt off while he was in flight.

The "News Of The World" newspaper in Glasgow received an SNLA communiqué to the effect that, unless certain measures to curtail English immigration into Scotland were implemented by a specified date in 1995, which was only a few weeks away, then blast incendiary devices would be used against British aircraft in flight. The design of the Icarus blast incendiary devices was described in some detail in the communiqué.

The newspaper was instructed to convey this ultimatum to the Prime Minister.

Although the staff at the newspaper, myself included, had grave doubts about the ability of the SNLA to place blast incendiary devices aboard British or any other aircraft, the SNLA message was routinely passed on to the Prime Minister's Office.

Several weeks later, in mid-May 1995, staff at the "Press Association" offices in Fleet Street in London received a small package sent to them in the post - and carried by air mail - from Belfast.

When opened it was found to contain a note to the "Press Association" and a small but sophisticated blast incendiary device which contained explosive and a liquid incendiary. It was identical to the device which had been described to me weeks previously in the SNLA communiqué. Icarus was a postal device sent via the Royal Mail and designed and set to ignite while the aircraft was in flight.

The package had been posted in Belfast the previous day and was equipped with a timer which was specially designed and set to detonate the device during the aircraft's flight to London.

However, the bomb, although it contained explosives and incendiary materials, had been deliberately de-activated by its senders. The battery had been removed.

Obviously, it seemed to me, it was meant as a warning only, and was intended to demonstrate the SNLA's capability to carry out its threats.

The SNLA had identified a weak point in aircraft security. Whereas passengers and their baggage are routinely searched rigorously, the volume of freight and the volume of mail carried by aircraft is so great that freight and mail cannot be rigorously checked.

A small bomb can be easily hidden almost anywhere in a sealed package and, since freight and mail schedules are available on the Internet and predictable, a simple timer will suffice to detonate a bomb during the aircraft's flight.

Within a week, the police had taken action. Irish police, who had already been conducting a lengthy and extensive surveillance of SNLA members in Ireland, carried out a raid which scooped up three members of the SNLA's Dublin cell, while a fourth member was arrested a few days later.

All four had to be released after attempts to interrogate them, and files on the matter were sent to the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions.

I was increasingly puzzled by the whole affair. Although the Icarus device had caused a major police operation, and sparked a major security alert, why had the first Icarus device been disarmed, and why was there no further attempt to use the device?

I now know that the whole operation was merely the first of many meticulous SNLA experiments to develop, to test, and to perfect Weapons Of Mass Destruction.

Chapter Twenty

Revolution In Warfare

The aim of the SNLA is to use Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD) to cause "Irredeemable Economic Damage" to the British State in order to coerce the British State and force it to concede to the SNLA's revolutionary aims.

This is in accordance with the Revolution In Warfare (RIW).

Before examining the SNLA's capability to acquire and use WMD, it is first necessary to examine the entire doctrine of Revolution In Warfare.

According to the RIW, which is a theory developed by military analysts, the wars of the near future will not be conventional wars fought between States – because the USA now has an absolute military superiority, and is the world’s only Superpower.

Instead the wars of the future will be asymmetrical, fought by miniscule groups of sub-national actors (terrorists) who can coerce or defeat the State by the use of improvised WMD.

But the sub-national actors will not be traditional terrorist groups, such as the Basque ETA. Such traditional terrorist groups are culturally incapable of participation in RIW.

The traditional groups are young, male-dominated, obsessed with the phallic symbolism of firearms and explosives, and with all the machismo bound up with the trappings of paramilitaries. They are also psychologically geared to attacking “legitimate targets” – usually obvious masculine authority figures such as policemen and soldiers – which are economically irrelevant.

Instead the sub-national actors will be tiny cells of activists who, united only by commitment to their ideology, will use improvised WMD to coerce and defeat the State.

This is a frightening but, given events since 9/11, a realistic scenario.

But it all depends on the terrorists’ ability to acquire WMD, and their ability to use it effectively, to target the right targets, and to apply or disperse WMD correctly.

Chapter Twenty One

Weapons Of Mass Destruction

What is a Weapon Of Mass Destruction? The definition the SNLA uses is:

"Any technique, method or weapon which threatens the large-scale destruction, disruption of, or damage to human, plant or animal life, or to any of the other systems or utilities on which society depends".

There are seven types of WMD which are identified by the acronym "CARBINE":

C = Chemical,
A = All Other,
R = Radiological
B = Biological,
I = Information Warfare (i.e. Computer Warfare and Electronic Warfare),
N = Nuclear,
E = Environmental Warfare.

Whereas in the popular conception WMD are seen as weaponry capable of causing massive human casualties, many types of WMD involve no direct loss of human life.

A computer virus is an example. It might cause major systems to fail throughout the UK, and cause massive economic losses, but it is unlikely to cause significant numbers of human injuries or deaths. It has an almost purely economic effect.

And, again, it is the economic effect of WMD which is of paramount importance.

Thus a computer virus could qualify as WMD if its effects were sufficiently damaging. It would be classed as type "I" for "Information Warfare".

And the destruction, damage or disruption of any vital public utility, such as water or power supplies, by any means, would also cause irredeemable economic damage.

Even conventional methods can be used as WMD. For example, the recent (July 2005) London underground and bus bombings have caused an economic crisis. Not only has the London underground lost up to 500,000 passengers a day, but the number of tourists visiting London has sharply declined.

Bearing this in mind, that the prime objective of using WMD is to cause massive and irredeemable economic losses, it will be seen how vulnerable the State actually is, and that a WMD capability does not depend on the possession of sophisticated nuclear devices, exotic chemicals, or similar advanced weaponry.

It can be argued that human losses caused by WMD are only relevant when a threat to human life is necessary to cause economic damage. For example, by frightening people away from using a certain service or visiting a certain location as tourists.

This is the doctrine of the SNLA in regard to WMD, and some of their experiments with WMD will be examined in some detail in some of the following chapters.

Chapter Twenty Two

The Water Poisoning Plot

In early June 1999 a number of letters were received by various official bodies including the British Embassy in Dublin.

The letters, supposedly sent by the previously unheard of "Republican Revenge Group", which purported to be an Irish Republican grouping, stated that, unless the British State gave a public undertaking to make a complete withdrawal from Ireland by a given date, the Republican Revenge Group would poison England's drinking water supplies by injecting the poison Paraquat into the public water supply system through any of the millions of fire hydrants which are located throughout the mains water system.

It was a chilling threat, and the letters, which appear to have been remarkably detailed as to the precise method by which the attacks were to be carried out, caused a panic reaction in the highest levels of British government.

A special emergency Cabinet meeting was called by Tony Blair (possibly a COBRA meeting), and various measures to deal with the threat were implemented.

This was already a difficult time for the Labour government. Not only was the Kosovo crisis then at its height, but the Northern Ireland peace process was at a crucial stage.

The threats were kept secret to avoid public panic, and the editors of the main newspapers were called to the Cabinet Office and briefed on the absolute necessity of media silence.

At the same time, in Ireland, at least one and possibly two meetings of the Irish Cabinet were called to discuss the threats, and the head of the Republic's most elite police unit, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, was personally briefed by the Taoiseach - the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern - to investigate the threats and the Republican Revenge Group.

According to Paul Williams, a criminologist, author and journalist, writing in the Irish newspaper "The Sunday World" in July 1999, the threats were also discussed in private meetings between Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, and his Irish counterpart, Bertie Ahern.

In the UK, toxicology experts carried out an urgent assessment of the potential threat, while the water companies began to amass vast amounts of emergency water supplies.

These were 10 litres of water per person in the English population per day and they were stored in plastic containers and water tankers. Given that the population of England is nearly 50,000,000 people, this means that 500,000,000 litres of water had to be stockpiled to provide just one day's emergency supply. How many days supply of water were stockpiled during the emergency, and what this cost is not known, although the cost must have been substantial. 

A series of security measures were put in place throughout England. The Hydrant Location Maps, normally used by the water companies and the fire services, were obtained by the police forces and "hydrant patrols" were established by police forces throughout the country in an attempt to monitor the millions of hydrants in England.

At the same time, armed police and undercover SAS units were drafted in to guard major water supply facilities.

In effect, the whole of England was in a state of undeclared siege.

On Saturday, July 10th, 1999, Adam Busby was arrested for questioning about the alleged plot, and the story finally broke.

The "Mirror" July 12, 1999:

"Police Grill Poison Plot Terror Scot

Water Blackmail Plan Is Foiled

By Louise Hancock

Scots terrorist Adam Busby was still being questioned by police in the Irish Republic last night over a plot to poison English water supplies. Garda sources said he could be held until Tuesday before being charged or released.

Busby is alleged to have led the scheme to blackmail the British Government into withdrawing troops from Northern Ireland. Tony Blair and the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern were among those who received letters threatening to contaminate English reservoirs with lethal chemicals.

Thousands of people could have died if the plan to poison water supplies had succeeded.

It is believed the 50-year-old ex-soldier from Paisley is the leader of the newly-formed Republican Revenge Group. The terrorist group - thought to have links to Irish paramilitaries - sent the chilling warning letters last month.

Messages sent to the Papal Nuncio, the British ambassador in Dublin and water industry regulator Ofwat called for a "total British military and political withdrawal" from Ulster.

The threats sparked a massive joint operation between Scotland Yard and the Garda to track down the blackmailer. A news blackout was imposed to prevent mass panic among the public.

And Tony Blair held an emergency cabinet meeting last week to discuss the situation.

Last night, however, Government sources claimed the plan would never have worked."

In fact, it is quite clear, from the measures taken to provide emergency water supplies and lay on emergency medical facilities, that the plan would have worked – and the British government knew it. So too did some of the media:

"Sunday Mail", July 11, 1999:


Police Seize Scots Terror Boss Over Deadly Plot

By Charles Lavery

A Scots terror chief has been arrested over a plot to poison English water supplies.

Adam Busby was held with four other men, including a senior figure in the Irish National Liberation Army.

The arrests followed a series of raids by armed counter-terrorist officers on homes in the Dublin area yesterday. They are understood to have been the culmination of a month-long surveillance operation.

A news blackout was imposed in Britain and Ireland and Tony Blair and Irish premier Bertie Ahern both held crisis Cabinet talks to discuss the threat.

Security sources believe Busby was the leader of a gang which called itself the Republican Revenge Group.

Their chilling plan, revealed in letters to public figures, could have killed millions.

The gang wrote to Blair and Ahern, as well as the Papal Nuncio and the British ambassador in Dublin, and an English water company. In the two-page letter, they warned that unless British troops were withdrawn from Northern Ireland, they would poison English reservoirs and water supplies.

They also enclosed an eight-page document detailing which chemicals would be used and how they'd be placed in the water system. Forensic experts told security chiefs that the consequences would be fatal.

A surveillance operation swung into action. Busby, who once plotted to kill the Queen, was watched round the clock before yesterday's raids. The Irish Special Branch and the elite National Bureau of Criminal Investigation swooped on homes across Dublin.

Those arrested were taken to Mountjoy police station and held for suspected offences against the state.

A senior Irish police source said: "The British security services were climbing the walls when they heard about this. "The situation was treated extremely seriously indeed and news of it was kept very tight. Both prime ministers were kept fully informed of the operation. This went right to the top."

A massive operation was mounted to co-ordinate the actions of the various police forces and the intelligence services, the Irish police, emergency services, water companies and Government toxicologists.

While water companies throughout the country were placed on full alert, Cabinet Ministers, including Home Secretary Jack Straw and Health Secretary Frank Dobson, gave Whitehall officials the go-ahead to request cooperation from the media in a complete news blackout.

The aim was to prevent public panic, to deny the terrorists publicity and to prevent a spate of hoaxes or copycat threats. These could have paralysed the emergency services and caused water supplies to be interrupted while security checks were carried out.”

But the threats were merely an experiment to test the British government's reactions to massive drinking water contamination.

The SNLA plan, I have been told, was not to poison the water, but to contaminate it with chemicals to the point where it would be unusable and undrinkable, and render the water mains unusable.

In effect, a large city could risk being permanently deprived of its water supply if attacked in this way. The economic effects are incalculable, and it is difficult to see how a society could even sustain itself without a drinking water supply.

Chapter Twenty Three

Information Warfare

Information Warfare is electronic warfare and the use of computers to sabotage other computers and computer systems, and to hack, to spread harmful rumours, to send threats and spread lies and disinformation, to carry out psychological warfare and to spread propaganda. In fact the use of computers to attack the State is practically unlimited in its scope.

Since virtually everything, including major public services and utilities, is now controlled by computers, interference with or the collapse of a computer system can have catastrophic results.

For example, a computer virus can cause other computer systems to "crash" or collapse, and, again for example, an entire city could be plunged into darkness or other essential services could be disrupted as a result.

The SNLA has never achieved any known success with a virus, but it has certainly developed a high degree of proficiency in other aspects of Information Warfare.

One of their earliest known efforts was in June 2000, and it was probably another of the SNLA's almost scientific experiments simply to test a technique. It caused some consternation and an internal security operation after the group bombarded members of the Scottish parliament with faked e-mails in the name of the late Donald Dewar, Scotland's First Minister.

After some experimentation, the SNLA was fully engaged in Information Warfare, attacking the e-mail system of the Northern Constabulary and flooding it with 12,000 e-mails. This is the classic "Denial Of Service" (DOS) attack, simple to create and virtually unstoppable, in which the "enemy" e-mail system is bombarded with thousands of often lengthy e-mails which cause it to malfunction or to break down completely when its capacity is exceeded.

On this occasion, the Northern Constabulary admitted the attacks to the "Press & Journal" newspaper, but claimed that Northern Constabulary personnel had been able to delete the SNLA e-mails in only 20 minutes and that little damage had been done.

The Northern Constabulary did not comment on the fact that the Guest Book on its website was liberally adorned with SNLA slogans. However, the Guest Book was rapidly removed from the Northern Constabulary's website.

The SNLA soon discovered the bulk e-mailing system GroupWeb WorldMailer - which has since become a commercial service by subscription only, possibly because of the pressure put on it by the authorities because of the extent to which the SNLA abused the system - which allowed them to send out more than 20,000 e-mails each hour to the same e-mail address or e-mail system.

Using this powerful system they were able to quickly deluge and often disable scores of State and State-linked communications networks at will. Their targets were legion.

The various Scottish police forces' e-mail systems were systematically attacked, Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police e-mail systems were reduced to a shambles - somewhat embarrassingly for him, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police had his own e-mail address put out of use - and numerous government departments, including British embassies and consulates throughout the world, were attacked and their communications systems often disabled.

The Scottish parliament's e-mail system was an obvious target and it was attacked on numerous occasions, while the Labour party's electronic election bulletin service was brought down and totally disabled.

Private businesses and concerns were not immune from attack. The "Daily Record" e-mail system received over 300,000 unwanted e-mails over the course of one weekend, forcing the newspaper's staff to spend many boring and unproductive hours deleting them.

The British financial services sector was likewise deluged, as was the e-mail system of GMTV, a well-known London-based TV programme.

These cyber-attacks cost expensive disruption, but the most innovative attacks were yet to come.

During the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001, with the British tourist industry in crisis because F&M was causing a drastic fall in the number of tourists, the SNLA circulated a completely bogus e-mail to thousands of travel agents and tour operators worldwide.

The SNLA fake-mail, which purported to come from a British government department, advised that, in a bid to halt the spread of Foot and Mouth, the British government would shortly be introducing regulations to restrict entry to the UK to the major airports in the Greater London area, while the subsequent movements of tourists and visitors would also be restricted to the Greater London area.

The effect of the disturbing "news" contained in this bogus e-mail on the ailing British tourist industry, which was circulated to thousands of key centres in the tourist industry internationally, can hardly be calculated.

During the same period the MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture) e-mail helpline was bombarded with many thousands of unwanted SNLA e-mails, in an effort to prevent genuine enquiries about the supposed airport restrictions from reaching the Ministry.

To follow up on the success of this, the SNLA devised a second bogus "government" e-mail aimed at discouraging business and commercial visitors from entering the UK.

This second e-mail announced that intending foreign visitors to the UK would not be admitted after a certain date unless they had been vaccinated against Anthrax - and as the Anthrax scare was then sweeping the world this seemed a reasonable precaution.

The e-mail was then sent out to thousands of international organisations of all kinds. Governmental, diplomatic, commercial, trade and travel organisations throughout the world received the forged "British government" e-mail with its bogus warning.

The results were dramatic. Foreign media solemnly reported the new travel restrictions to the UK. At least one foreign State set up facilities where business people and other visitors could receive vaccinations against Anthrax, and, because of the difficulty and unpopularity of the Anthrax vaccination, the drop in business visits to the UK, with the resulting economic losses to the British economy, may have been considerable.

But the SNLA's greatest achievement in Information Warfare was in taking over the Scottish parliament's e-mail system. How this was done is an SNLA "State Secret", and it still appears to be a mystery to the authorities, but the SNLA were able to send, receive and answer e-mails using the Scottish parliament's own computer system and using the Scottish parliament's own name.

Even more embarrassing for the Scottish parliament's computer experts was the fact that many of the e-mails sent from their computer system had concerned the Royal security surrounding Prince William at St Andrews university.

One was even sent to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police advising him on aspects of Royal security. The Commissioner's staff replied, and their reply was received by the SNLA.

Finally, for propaganda purposes, the SNLA decided to reveal to the media that they had taken control of the Scottish parliament's e-mail system and used it discuss matters of Royal and therefore State security.

In order to demonstrate their control of the e-mail system, the SNLA sent out an e-mail from the Scottish parliament and which was in the name of Scotland's First Minister, Henry McLeish. It was sent out to various media outlets and had a rather obvious mocking tone. And the e-mail contained most unparliamentary language - and in particular the word "fucking".

However, true to the obsequious nature of the Scottish media, few newspapers reported the story. The "Daily Express" was again an exception, carrying this report on 17th of August 2001:

"Hacker Threat To Prince's Security

Terrorists who have threatened to kill Prince William are claiming they have accessed top-secret security information by hijacking a government e-mail address.

The Scottish National Liberation Army claims it has been using a Scottish Parliament e-mail address to correspond with New Scotland Yard on the measures to protect the Prince when he begins studying at St Andrews university, Fife, in a few weeks' time.

Last night government officials were said to be "extremely concerned" that the terrorist organisation was able to send out e-mails using one of their addresses.

The organisation, headed by Adam Busby, also issued a chilling warning statement.

It said: "For several months we have been engaging in correspondence about royal security with the police and the University authorities. We can and will strike at the University whenever we wish."

The organisation then sent us an e-mail headed with a genuine government address, with a spoof message from Scotland's First Minister Henry McLeish, which included swear words. We were able to reply to the address. It is normally used to sort electronic mail sent to the Scottish Executive's ministers.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said yesterday: "Our e-mail system has not been breached."

However insiders at Holyrood were very concerned that a genuine government address is being used by the extremists."

It is likely that the SNLA will continue to use Information Warfare techniques in the future, because of its revolutionary potential for producing chaos and disruption.

There is a strange but perhaps significant aftermath to this story of Information Warfare. Adam Busby and one of his friends, an Irish Republican whose home had been searched at the same time as Busby was arrested for questioning about the water poisoning plot, gave false background information and joined a division of the prestigious Group 4 security firm.

Incredibly, Busby was put in sole charge of night security in the main computer room of the Dublin HQ of Citibank, the international banking house, while his friend eventually was given sole charge of the Irish Ministry of Social Welfare's night security.

The Ministry building is directly opposite Store Street Garda (police) Station in central Dublin. This proved to be the pair's undoing when a very alert - and astonished - policeman spotted Adam Busby being given an early hours of the morning guided tour of the Ministry building by his friend.

Convinced that the pair were engaged in gathering sensitive intelligence of some kind, the police took immediate steps to ban them from future employment with Group 4.

As they had committed no known offence, no legal action could be taken against them.

Irish police are now convinced that Adam Busby and his friend were gathering information about the operation of the computer networks in government and financial centres with a view to sabotaging similar systems using Information Warfare.

In an unrelated case, Busby's Irish friend was subsequently sentenced to a five year sentence in Portlaoise Prison for possession of firearms.

Author's Note: Hotmail accounts were abused to such an extent by the SNLA for its nefarious purposes that for a time the company configured its system so that the letters "snla" could not be used to create a Hotmail username.

Chapter Twenty Four

The American Campaign

The SNLA's interest in the USA seems to have begun in the mid-1990s. Already the SSG had an official "North American Support Arm", the William Wallace Society, which had a small group of members in the USA and Canada and a website.

However, the SNLA's major interest in the USA was sparked by the fact that the American Far Right, and especially the Militia Movement, had a long-standing interest in and, seemingly, a knowledge of the Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMD) which the SNLA were so anxious to acquire.

To this end in the late 1990s the SNLA formed the "Scottish-American Militia" and successfully recruited a small number of Scottish or pro-Scottish activists in the USA and Canada. The Scottish-American Militia was simply the North American branch of the SNLA.

Although neither the SNLA nor the Scottish-American Militia had any ideological affinity with the American Right, the American Militia Movement has a fascination with WMD and especially with Anthrax and Ricin, and they even published "recipes" for their manufacture (including - incredibly - videos demonstrating how to manufacture Ricin) which were then sold and circulated freely in Militia circles.

Additionally, because the American media is much more free to report incidents than the UK media, the SNLA believed that its "experiments" with WMD would be more fully and factually reported in the US media, providing useful information to the SNLA on the effectiveness of their attacks. This belief proved to be correct.

The SNLA took great pains to acquire and study as much of the material on WMD as possible. The results were initially disappointing 

Alec recalls:

"The problem with the American Right is that most of them are not very sophisticated. When we carefully studied their literature - and there was a hell of a lot of it - we discovered that the claims they made for their products simply didn't stand up to scrutiny.

Take Ricin for example. It's a deadly toxin but as WMD it’s a non-starter. We manufactured it and looked at every aspect of it over a period of years, and it can’t be weaponised as WMD.

And so-called “dirty bombs” don’t work either - because when an explosion takes place there is a massive release of thermal energy which, because of convection, carries all the gases and particulate matter to a height of thousands of feet within seconds, at which point the gases and particulate matter, if they survive incineration, become atmospheric and disperse over a vast area at levels of contamination which are harmless.

In general, if something is heralded in the media as WMD, you can be sure it isn’t going to work. Genuine information about WMD is only available to those who are prepared to do their homework, and, above all, to experiment.

However, by trial and error we did learn a lot. In particular we learned that any viable threat of WMD is taken very, very seriously and causes massively expensive disruption and increases in security.

For several years pro-life demonstrators in the States had been sending hoax Anthrax letters to abortion clinics throughout the USA. The effect had been remarkable, with chaos and disruption caused to abortion clinics nationally, and the abortion clinics were forced to implement extremely expensive security measures permanently to prevent similar attacks from taking place. 

When we studied the technique it all seemed amazingly simple. Very simply, wearing gloves, it was only necessary to buy various everyday items in any corner shop where you weren't known. We are only talking about a packet of envelopes, stamps and some sort of powder.

Then you'd put a few grains of powder inside the envelope with a note saying it was Anthrax, and then seal the envelope and affix the stamps with tap water to avoid leaving DNA traces, and then post it to the target.

The address labels and the notes inside the envelopes were computer print-outs which could be made up in any library, cyber-cafe or even at home, and they were completely untraceable if you put them between other sheets of paper and went over them lightly with a hot iron. This destroyed any microscopic marks left by the paper rollers and the printer, and so they were completely untraceable.

We decided to test the technique against British commercial and diplomatic targets in the States. There are hundreds of these. Britain is the biggest overseas investor in the USA and British goods are widely sold throughout the USA. There are companies in the USA which specialize in the import and distribution of British goods of all kinds.

There is a British Embassy in Washington and there are British consulates all over the place, and the British Tourist Authority has offices and there are even British-American newspapers. We decided to give them a good going over.

The campaign was two-pronged and very carefully planned. It was really an experiment on a grand scale.

Two of our members in the US traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, and sent out a batch of hoax Anthrax letters to a whole variety of British targets throughout the US. The letters contained small amounts of rodent poison. The British in the US had never been targeted before, and they were totally unprepared for what they were about to get.

From late November 2000 to early December 2000 a whole series of British institutions throughout the USA were evacuated upon receipt of the hoax Anthrax letters.

The entire premises were physically sealed off, dozens of employees who had been in contact with the letters were forced to strip and showered with jets of water before being bundled, covered by special antiseptic blankets, into ambulances and taken to hospital for injections. The rest of the employees were evacuated, hundreds of them in total, and the premises remained completely sealed until officials from the US Department of Agriculture had searched the whole building and declared it to be Anthrax-free.

Sometimes this took days to complete and many days of production were lost. In one incident in Cape Coral, which is in Lee County in Florida, a major British food importer - Cameron's British Foods - was shut down for two days and fifteen or more employees were hospitalized and injected with vaccines. (See Appendix 2).

In Chicago and New York, British offices were completely closed and hundreds of workers were evacuated while others were treated for potential exposure to Anthrax. In Chicago, it was the British-American Chamber of Commerce, which was in a large office complex on North Michigan Avenue which is a major thoroughfare in Chicago.

In this case, the closure and disruption affected that entire area of Chicago - which wasn't our intention obviously, but it certainly made an impression on us.

The attack in Chicago was also interesting because the emergency services there used advanced new technology for the first time. They used a device which examines the suspect material and quickly scans it for traces of bacteria and spores.

This means that if you are using a chemical powder which has no bacterial content, it will be quickly detected, and this can limit the effect and duration of the disruption. So, to counter this we switched to using powders which are rich in meat and vegetable extract and which contain yeast. The best substance to use is a pinch of powder from a packet of instant meat-based dried soup. It contains all the right ingredients. This simple innovation completely stymies the new technology.

The second prong of the campaign was to simultaneously threaten an even larger number of British institutions to which no letters had been sent.

This was done by using anonymous remailers – such as Riot Anonymous Remailer which is totally untraceable - to send e-mails directly to FBI offices saying that Anthrax powder or dust had been placed in the reception area of such and such a British consulate.

Another variant was to say that Anthrax had been sent in unmarked letters containing junk mail to the targets several days previously.

Both of these techniques were also completely successful. In only a few days, at minimal expense and with practically no risk to ourselves, we had succeeded in the temporary shut down of a high proportion of the British diplomatic and commercial premises in the US, and forcing the rest to employ expensive security measures to protect themselves.

By the way, when the final cost of an Anthrax hoax is added up, it usually comes to several thousand US dollars or more, so you'll see that this was no minor campaign.

Although the SNLA never claimed these attacks officially, the acronym SAM (which stands for Scottish-American Militia) had been used as a codeword on the letters, and news of the attacks began to circulate in the UK, not least because the Federal Bureau of Investigation began making enquiries in Scotland around the end of the year 2000.

The involvement of the FBI in Scottish politics must be a record of some kind.

Significantly the "Scotsman" newspaper carried the story of some of the initial attacks and so did the business section of the "Independent". True to form neither mentioned the SNLA. Nor did any section of the British media ever mention that British institutions throughout the US had lost millions of dollars as a result of the disruptions and the enforcement of stricter security, and that most of them were forced to remain in a state of high alert against repeat or similar attacks.

Instead, soon after the initial coverage, a cover story appeared to the effect that the SNLA had targeted a firm in Cape Cod because it sold HP Sauce in the US. We thought: "Er, what?". Their intention here - as usual - was to portray the whole thing as a humorous and insignificant prank, denying the SNLA any credibility. Needless to say, there is no such firm in Cape Cod or anywhere else in the US - we checked.

Incidentally, the FBI make an annual Congressional report on terrorism, and in the report for the year 2000 they listed 90 or so hoax Anthrax attacks. More than half of these were ours. The attacks in the US continued well into 2002 incidentally.

Did we experiment in the US with other techniques? No comment.

That information is classified. In retrospect, we should have issued a communiqué to the American media, where there is a much more open media, but our main interest was now in seeing whether the hoax Anthrax technique would work in the UK."

The SNLA was soon to test the technique against the highest profile targets in the UK - the Royal Family. And the results were dramatic.

Author's Note:

Despite the above statement by Alec refusing to confirm that the SNLA tested other WMD techniques in the USA, there exists strong evidence that the SNLA used a cover name - a flag of convenience - a tried and tested method of covering up the group's activities when it wishes to remain anonymous - and threatened to use a toxic aerosol made from Caustic Soda in the USA in order to observe the authorities' reaction to the threat.

This, at least, is the belief according to sources within the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office also believe that the SNLA targeted its premises in Canada, leading to a vast city-wide disruption in Canada. The SNLA refuses to confirm or deny these allegations possibly because they did not wish to cause such widespread chaos to non-British targets.

It is also interesting that the Canadian disruptions were caused by receipt of a suspect material which contained traces of an unknown bacteria which could not be immediately identified - and this was after the SNLA switched to using substances which contained bacteria after learning of the developments by Alexeter Technologies.

The incidents took place in Ottawa and Toronto in late January and early February, 2001, and involved a coloured powder which contained a "bacterial agent".

Chapter Twenty Five

The St Andrews Campaign

The SNLA and the SSG, as Scottish Republicans, had long opposed the presence of British Royalty in Scotland and as early as 1983 had disrupted the first official visit of Princess Diana to Glasgow. (See a full account of this in the previous chapter: "Letter Bomb Mayhem".)

More recently the SSG, in the year 2000, in conjunction with a dissident Irish Republican group with a website based in the USA, had threatened to disrupt a planned walkabout by the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, in Inverness. As a result all police leave in the area was cancelled, and specialist military units and a hundred extra police officers from neighbouring forces were drafted into the town on the day of the Royal visit.

Despite these elaborate precautions, a small number of SSG members did manage to hold a token demonstration in the town by taking over a window space at the Ho-Ho Hostel in Inverness during the Queen's walkabout (a photograph of the demo appeared in the following day's "Scotsman"), and the SNLA were responsible for a number of bomb alerts which caused some disruption in the area that day including one at the airport.

However, the SSG's point - that the Queen required a small army of police and troops to protect her in order to visit a Scottish town - seemed to be well made.

There was an immediate response from the SSG when it was officially announced later in the year 2000 that Prince William would study Art History for four years at St Andrews university in Fife in Eastern Scotland. His studies were due to begin in 2001.

In 2000 the SSG began a determined campaign to prevent the Prince's attendance at St Andrews university. Assisted by the Russian Maoist Party and US-based Irish Republican dissidents, campaigners were urged to persistently e-mail and to telephone the university in protest.

The campaign was initially peaceful and legal, but there was a hint of what was in store when a bomb alert caused the evacuation of the Admissions Office at the university early in the campaign in the year 2000.

The security problems for the British authorities at St Andrews were daunting. St Andrews university is located in the normally quiet seaside town of St Andrews. The town is small but because of the town's internationally famous golf courses, and its picturesque and historic location, it attracts many thousands of tourists and visitors each year. Screening visitors was to prove virtually impossible.

To make matters worse for the authorities, the ancient university's buildings and facilities are spread widely throughout the town, there is no central campus as such, and there is no possibility of establishing a security perimeter.

If the security surrounding Prince William was stepped up to the highest levels, then the whole of the university town would be perceived as a town under siege, and this was definitely not the image that the British authorities wished to project.

Additionally, the SSG and SNLA had a knack for obtaining confidential and extremely detailed information about security at the university some of which was published on the Internet, especially on "Ireland's OWN", an American-based website which supports the Real IRA. All this was much to the embarrassment of the British authorities and the police and security services.

In August, 2001, the "Express" reported that Prince William had been targeted by the Real IRA, the terrorists responsible for the Omagh bomb, which killed 29 men, women and children in the worst atrocity of the Irish Troubles. According to the newspaper, the Irish Republican group linked up with the SNLA during visits to Scotland and obtained a detailed lay-out of the university, alarming terrorism experts and forcing a re-think on security during the Prince's stay.

In fact, the newspaper was correct. All the information about Prince William was given to the Real IRA by the SNLA which obtained it from sympathizers in St Andrews.

There were even suspicions by official sources that some of the university students were supplying information to the SNLA. David Capitanchik, an academic who studies terrorism, has alleged this publicly in the "Daily Star".

In August 2001, shortly before Prince William began his studies at St Andrews university, the SNLA claimed in a communiqué sent to the media that it had used the Anthrax hoax technique against the university, and that a hoax Anthrax letter had been sent to the university from a location in England only a few days before.

This was vehemently denied by the university's Press Officer but, despite this denial, the SNLA's unconfirmed claims were (unusually but, in my opinion, quite rightly) given prominent coverage in the "Express" of August 8, 2001:

"Scottish terrorists have threatened to kill Prince William after claiming they sent a fake anthrax bomb to St Andrews University.

The Scottish National Liberation Army said they posted a "bacterial agent" to the university's admissions office just weeks before the 18-year-old future King starts his Art History course.

They stated that there was a major security alert when one of the administration staff opened the parcel and found a typewritten note declaring: "This is Anthrax."

Last night, the university and Fife police - briefed by Security Service MI5 to withhold any information regarding the Prince - denied any knowledge of the package.

However, the Express was sent anonymous information giving full details."

This coverage angered the university authorities who publicly announced that they were taking steps to report the newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission.

Shortly after this, in late August 2001, the SNLA struck at the university again. On this occasion the recipient of the hoax Anthrax letter was Ms Claire Grainger - one of the university Press Officers who had so vehemently denied the SNLA's original claim!

According to a report by Jane Kerr in the "Mirror" of 21st August 2001, the university Press Officer Claire Grainger, along with eleven other people who came into contact with the letter, had to be stripped, sprayed in a portable shower, and then taken by ambulance to hospital for precautionary treatment and isolation.

This was after a letter with an English postmark (see Note 1.) was found to contain a suspect powder, and a note to the effect that the powder contained the biological agent Anthrax.

The "Daily Express" was vindicated by the latest incident because it had covered the earlier incident, as it pointed out:

"Terrorist "Bug Bomb" At Prince's University

By Myra Philp

The university's principal Dr Brian Lang went as far as accusing the Scottish Daily Express of being "irresponsible" for reporting the (earlier) claims. Dr Lang also complained to the Press Complaints Commission about our front page story."

A similar hoax Anthrax letter had been sent to the DEFRA HQ in London (DEFRA is the re-named Ministry of Agriculture or MAFF), as well as one sent to a luxury hotel in London. The one sent to the Ministry in London had been well-publicised - it caused massive disruption and the evacuation of hundreds of workers at a critical point in the Ministry's handling of the Foot and Mouth outbreak - and the university would simply not have been believed had they attempted to deny that they had received a hoax Anthrax letter on this occasion.

EpxNews, the electronic news service, in its report of the DEFRA incident, even revealed that a total of four devices had been sent "in recent weeks" and that one of them had previously been sent to St Andrews university - which the university had so strenuously denied:

”Published: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 00:00:00 UTC Author: Chris Smith

DEFRA Staff Isolated After Toxic Incident

A group of civil servants have been put in isolation after a suspect package claiming to contain the killer anthrax virus was discovered at DEFRA's Westminster offices.

The Millbank offices of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs were evacuated at 10.30am on Monday when staff in the mailroom discovered the package which had a note claiming it contained anthrax.

Members of the police's bomb disposal unit, trained to deal with chemical devices, were called to the scene and the package was quickly removed for forensic scientists to analyse who later declared it harmless.

Streets around the building were sealed for four hours while fire crews carried out a "damping down" procedure used for chemical spills.

A group of 13 staff who had come into contact with the package were kept in isolation as a precautionary measure until the substance contained in the package had been established.

No-one had suffered injuries from the incident and no group has claimed responsibility.

Police later revealed it was the latest of four packages that have been sent to different locations in recent weeks including St Andrews University in Scotland.

A group calling itself the Scottish National Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the St Andrews parcel.

A Scotland Yard spokesman revealed that although no direct warning had been given an e-mail had been sent to the Daily Express in August warning that a series of parcels would be sent to various addresses.

The incident was being investigated by the anti-terrorism branch."

The second hoax letter sent to the university had also caused massive disruption in St Andrews. The main administrative buildings had to be evacuated, and there was a huge police, emergency services and military operation to deal with the perceived threat.

For the first time, bio-chemical warfare suits (so-called "Noddy suits") were seen on TV alongside the academic robes of the famous university, while traffic in the town was disrupted as firemen "damped down" the whole area.

The suspect letter and its contents had to be sent in a special container to the British government's biological research station at Porton Down in Wiltshire for analysis.

These incidents were the first admitted use of the hoax Anthrax technique in the UK, preceding the post-September 11th spate of these incidents by months.

However, if St Andrews university thought that its troubles were over, then it couldn't have been more wrong.

There were a spate of bomb alerts in and around the university and town of St Andrews, a number of threats and also false alarms - in one of which nervous marine biologists on the university staff sparked another major alert. They reported as "Anthrax" a perfectly innocent substance sent to them by post for analysis.

And various e-mail floods regularly disrupted the university's e-mail system.

In addition the Russian Maoist Party, an ally of the SSG and the SNLA, delivered a protest letter to the British Embassy in London as an SSG Press Release pointed out:

"Scottish Separatist Group

Press Release

14th September 2001

In a display of international solidarity, representatives of the Russian Maoist Party have delivered a letter of protest to the British Embassy in Moscow.

The RMP’s letter of 11th September 2001 was in protest against the proposed presence of the English “Prince” William at St Andrews University in Scotland.

The letter pointed out that the proposal to have the “Prince” educated in Scotland was merely a cynical political ploy to make the English “royal” family, the symbolic heads of the British State, more popular in Scotland.

The RMP was later assured by an Embassy spokesperson that their letter had been brought to the personal attention of the British Ambassador.

This was an excellent example of international solidarity, and we congratulate the RMP on their initiative.

The political ploy of bringing the “Prince” to Scotland will backfire on the British State, as the SSG has never failed to point out.

The creation of a Scottish Republic, the crucial first step towards the national and social emancipation of the Scottish people, is inevitable, and will not be delayed by the presence of this individual in Scotland.

Scottish Separatist Group

Comunn Dealachadh na h-Alba"

See “William Go Home”, on the link below to the Russian Maoist Party Website (English version), for the full text of the protest letter delivered to the British Embassy in Moscow:

In mid-October 2001, by which time Prince William had been installed as an Art History student at St Andrews university for several weeks, the whole of Fife was disrupted by a wave of hoax Anthrax letters which threw the region into chaos, and was to lead to a reported 21 people being isolated by Emergency Services and treated in hospital for suspected Anthrax exposure.

Early on the morning of Tuesday, 16th October 2001, Fife Constabulary were called out to investigate a bomb alert at Dalgety Bay, a huge area to search and one which is far from the scene of the impending attacks. But this bomb alert was purely a diversion designed to draw large numbers of the police, including specialist officers, away from the scene of the impending hoax Anthrax attacks.

The morning's mail delivery brought chaos to Fife. Six letters, each of which had a Glasgow postmark, were delivered to various addresses in Fife.

These addresses were the HQ of Fife Constabulary, Fife House (the local authority's administrative HQ), the Art History department of St Andrews University (Prince William was studying Art History at the university), two hotels in St Andrews (one of them only a matter of yards away from the Prince's classroom), and the sixth letter was sent to an official of one of St Andrews' famous golf courses.

When opened, each letter contained the, by now, familiar pinch of powder, and the note warning that the powder contained traces of Anthrax. To describe the results as chaotic would be an understatement.

Each premises (including police HQ which was supposed to be coordinating the emergency response) had to be completely evacuated, and reports stated that 21 staff members in the various locations who had been in contact with the suspect letters had to be isolated, and then underwent decontamination and hospitalization.

To make matters worse for the authorities, St Andrews was filled with golfers and golfing fans, media people, and top celebrities such as Michael Douglas and Hugh Grant who had come to watch a golfing tournament.

Practically the whole of Fife was affected in one way or another by these coordinated attacks which disabled the command and control centres of the police and the local authority.

The BBC News of Wednesday, 17 October, 2001, reported:

"Letter Threats Were 'Cruel Hoax'

Police have confirmed that a suspect package sent to St Andrews University was a "cruel hoax". The parcel was one of six sent to locations in Fife, including the area's police headquarters in Glenrothes.

White powder was found in A5-sized packages which also contained letters warning of the anthrax bacterium. Tests have now been completed on two of the six parcels which were received on Tuesday.

Fife Constabulary said that the packets delivered to St Andrews University and the police headquarters had both proven negative for anthrax.

"Further tests will be carried out on these substances to establish their make-up but we are now convinced that these incidents were part of an elaborate but cruel hoax," said Assistant Chief Constable David Mellor.

He said it was expected that tests on the other four parcels would also prove to be negative.

"It is now a question of business as usual with restrictions being lifted at all the venues involved," he said. "But clearly everyone should remain firmly on their guard, reporting immediately any suspicions they might have on receipt of any unusual packages via the mail or other means. "Proper caution is always recommended and vigilance, the most important precaution which can ever be deployed to deal with this type of situation, is vitally important."

A total of 21 people underwent a course of antibiotics following the incidents.

Detectives believe packages found at St Andrews University were part of an ongoing campaign by Scottish republican extremists angered by Prince William studying at the Fife campus.

No connection has been made between the Scottish packages and those found elsewhere in the UK, or anthrax discoveries in the US following the attacks on Afghanistan."

By this time the September 11th attacks had taken place in the USA, to be followed by a worldwide blitz of hoax Anthrax letters as well as some containing genuine Anthrax. There had been a truly worldwide scare, and the SNLA decided to make the best of it while the going was good.

"Anthrax and hoax Anthrax letters were causing panic in every country in the world. We decided to take advantage of the situation and our orders were to send out as many letters as quickly as possible. We concentrated on the financial services sector because that was where we could do the most economic damage, but almost any target was considered legitimate.

We closed down the Bank of England twice because we hit the museum inside the bank on a second occasion, and we also hit the London Stock Exchange, the Baltic Exchange and various merchant banks and big financial houses, most of them in the City of London. They were all forced into lengthy evacuations, and this must have caused disruption to the cost of millions. Remember that the financial services sector provides over 20% of the UK's income."

Alec continues:

"I estimate that we sent out 150 to 200 hoax Anthrax letters during the period when the Anthrax panic was sweeping the world. We sent out so many that we lost count."

Among the suspected targets were the Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell and two of his political colleagues, MP Frank Roy and Local Government Minister Frank McAveety.

However, St Andrews university was not neglected during this period.

The SNLA had experimented with Ricin - a toxin derived from castor beans which are used in the manufacture of castor oil - which they considered to be virtually useless as an effective WMD because of the difficulties involved in dispersing it widely – but decided to employ the threat of it in an attempt to disrupt the university once again.

It was known to the SNLA that the chiefs of the Security Unit at the university had already decided not to publicly respond to any more Anthrax threats. But, the SNLA reasoned, what if the next threat came from Ricin, which anyone can manufacture with easy-to-obtain materials and minimum effort?

Shortly before the students broke off for their Christmas 2001 holidays, a number of letters were sent out to various addresses, including the home address of Prince William's Art History tutor.

A Christmas card was sent to Prince William himself at his address in St Salvators, one of the university's halls of residence.

The letters and the Christmas card each contained a tiny quantity of white powder and a note to the effect that the powder was Ricin.

It wasn't Ricin, but it closely resembled Ricin which is a whitish flour-like substance.

Whatever the disruptive effect of the letters and Christmas card, if any, the propaganda effect was very little. The university and Fife Constabulary have refused, and still refuse, to discuss or to comment on details of the matter - although unofficial sources which confirmed the incident allowed me to write a small article which appeared in the "News Of The World" on Sunday the 16th of December, 2001.

Significantly, and illustrative of the SNLA's pioneering interest in WMD, this was one of the earliest known uses of Ricin or what purported to be Ricin in the UK.

The SNLA changed targets in early 2002 when, in response to the Queen Mother's funeral, hoax Anthrax letters were claimed to have been sent to the Visitor Centre at Holyrood Palace – where books of condolence had been opened - and to the Minister of St Giles' cathedral in Edinburgh. The Minister, the very Reverend Gilleasbuig McMillan, is Chaplain-in-ordinary to the Queen.

An SNLA communiqué, quoted in the "Sunday Express" of April 14th , 2002, said it had been done to "protest against the nauseating funeral "celebrations" for the so-called "Queen Mother"".

The SNLA also claimed that another hoax Anthrax letter had been sent to the New York offices of the Scottish-American Foundation which had helped organised the Tartan Day celebrations in the USA.

Tartan Day is the 6th of April and coincides with the date of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath marking Scottish Independence in the 14th century.

The SNLA saw the Tartan Day celebrations as having nothing to do with genuine Scottish culture, but everything to do with boosting the British economy by crass commercialism and exploitation of a Tartan version of Scotland's image.

As a result of the SNLA activities aimed at the Scottish-American Foundation, security had also been stepped up at the Scottish offices of VisitScotland, which worked with the Scottish-American Foundation to help organise the Tartan Day celebrations.

VisitScotland spokesman Euan Page said he was horrified by the turn of events and that security had already been stepped up in their offices.

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Action Group was investigating the incident in the USA, and was making enquiries in Scotland. And a special unit of British police specialists was operating in Scotland to try and track the SNLA's e-mails to their source. They were unsuccessful.

Around the same time, the SNLA said it had sent three more hoax Anthrax letters to the embassies of Japan and South Korea in London - which were co-hosting the soccer World Cup in which England was a competitor - and to the HQ of the English Football Association.

And threats were issued against the English players, team officials, and their families.

This was part of a campaign to sabotage the English team's chances in the World Cup.

Clearly, the SNLA were still active on many fronts.

The final action of the St Andrews campaign came in 2005 when members of the Royal Family traveled over the Forth bridge to attend Prince William’s graduation from St Andrews. The SNLA created a security alert on the bridge with a bomb warning. See “Daily Express”, Scottish edition, August the 1st, 2005.

Whether the Prince actually completed his studies at St Andrews is unclear. His presence in St Andrews and attendance at the university is said to have been “highly irregular”.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: This hoax Anthrax letter had an English postmark, but Paul Smith was later to plead guilty to preparing it and posting it from the Glasgow area.

In fact, Smith’s guilty plea was false. He had nothing to do with this incident and at least one other to which he pled guilty. He agreed to plead guilty to all the publicised SNLA attacks in return for a lighter sentence.

And no official explanation exists for the deafening silence about 14 other incidents involving Caustic Soda being sent. There was no mention of these at Smith’s trial.

Note 2: Comunn Dealachadh na h-Alba is the SSG's name in Scottish Gaelic.

Note 3: In researching the links between the SNLA and the Real IRA, a source within the FBI drew my attention to the fact that at least one person has been arrested in the USA for participation in the SNLA campaign against Prince William's presence at St Andrew's university.

The "Telegraph" of 23rd August, 2002, reported the story:

"Woman Held For William Poison Plot

By David Rennie in Washington

A woman accused of plotting to poison Prince William, by sending him a bottle of Coca-Cola laced with cyanide, has been held without bail in America.

Police searching Tashala Hayman's caravan in Montana discovered a batch of poisoned soft drinks, which she was allegedly preparing to post to the Prince at an address in Scotland, thought to be St Andrews, where he is at university…

The alleged plot involved considerable effort and planning, but it is not clear why Hayman would imagine the Prince would consume drinks sent by a complete stranger in America.

A court in Great Falls, Montana, ruled on Wednesday that Hayman should be held in custody because there was a risk that she would abscond.

Hayman, who denies all charges, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said it never commented on security matters concerning the Royal Family. A spokesman for St James's Palace also declined to comment."

Ms Hayman was and is an enthusiastic supporter of Irish and Scottish Republicanism and is known to be a supporter of Ireland's OWN - the website run from the USA by and for dissident Republicans.

When that is taken into account, her alleged actions can be seen as purely political actions

Incitements to campaign against Prince William's presence at St Andrews were regularly carried by Ireland's OWN.

But why was the parcel to the Prince not posted?

The reason, according to the FBI, is that he was not due to return to St Andrew's university until September, and the package was made ready but was not intended to be posted until the following month.

The plot, which was carefully planned and executed, seems to have been based on the SNLA's use of Caustic Soda in aromatherapy bottles. Again, this view is shared by the FBI.

Whether the SNLA were actively involved in the plot, or whether they simply played an inspirational role, is unclear, although some media reports hint at a connection.

Ms Hayman was dismissed as a “lone wolf” - but the evidence available to me suggests that it was not quite as simple as that. The FBI appears to believe that she was acting directly in support of the SNLA and the Irish dissidents, but on their inspiration and not directly under their orders, and this seems to be the most likely explanation.

Chapter Twenty Six

Chemical Weapons Experiment

On the afternoon of Friday the 1st of March 2002 an SNLA communiqué was received at my Glasgow office. It was to the effect that several days previously, in late February 2002, the organisation had sent 16 disguised chemical weapons by post to 16 target individuals.

The communiqué said that 16 small bottles which appeared to contain samples of aromatherapy oils had been sent by post to the homes of 16 people, all of whom were connected to the main British political parties.

But, instead of harmless oils, the bottles all contained a solution of Caustic Soda.

This substance, which is also known as Sodium Hydroxide or Lye, is a lethal corrosive which, in liquid form, is corrosive to all organic matter including human flesh. As well as causing serious skin and tissue burns and blindness, it is lethal if swallowed or if its vapours are inhaled.

The names of only two of the recipients were divulged. They were Ms Margaret Ashcroft, an Englishwoman living in Scotland who is an unpaid Liberal Democrat party worker closely linked to Mike Rumbles MSP, an English-born Member of the Scottish Parliament, and Mrs Cherie Blair the wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Ms Ashcroft was immediately contacted by telephone and warned not to use the "oil". Fortunately she had not used the so-called oil, although she had received it days earlier. She was completely unsuspicious of the well-presented and innocent-looking "sample", and had planned to use it at the weekend, she said.

Only her delay had saved Ms Ashcroft from the certainty of severe injury, blindness or even death. Downing Street was then contacted by the newspaper and warned about the dangerous substance which had been sent to Mrs Cherie Blair.

At first, when I spoke to Downing Street, the Downing Street spokesperson was completely unaware of any such incident, but shortly afterwards they discovered an aromatherapy bottle laced with Caustic Soda in a package addressed to Mrs Blair.

An immediate official warning to be on the lookout for similar bottles was issued to everyone in any way connected to the main British political parties, and photographs and details of the bottles, the envelopes, and the leaflets which were sent with the bottles were widely circulated in the media.

They had to circulate as much detail as possible as this was now an urgent effort to prevent a number of unknown people from falling victim to the Caustic Soda.

A source in the Anti-Terrorist squad said: "There is a degree of determination and professionalism behind this incident. And clearly it is a serious attempt to do harm to the Prime Minister and other political leaders".

The UK-wide Red Alert created a sensational news story which dominated the British media that night and for several following days. On the 3rd of March "Scotland On Sunday" headlines reported that panic was still spreading:

"Panic spreads as toxic terror hits Scotland ".

In fact, as the packages were reported to have been posted on the previous Sunday, the 24th of February, it was clear that most, if not all, of them must have been delivered days before.

The story of the chemical warfare agent aimed at British political parties was sensational, and it was featured throughout the world. But, even so, there were deliberate attempts in the UK to play down the seriousness of the situation.

The fact that exposure to Caustic Soda can be lethal was rarely mentioned in the British media, although at least some of the foreign media were quick to point this out - Islam Online News calling it "fatal", for example.

There was a major UK-wide security alert as everyone in any way connected to the major British political parties was urged to examine their mail, and advised how to protect themselves by removing contaminated clothing and using running water to treat their wounds if they were affected.

There was massive disruption as all parliamentary, constituency offices and government buildings throughout the country were told to be on the lookout for the sinister packages.

A senior security source said: "Staff will return to work on Monday after the weekend break and will be warned that they must be particularly vigilant when handling packages. We know it is going to disrupt Government offices all over the country but better some inconvenience than someone is blinded or loses a limb."

The BBC reported on 2nd March 2002:

"Police Widen Danger Package Hunt

Police investigating packages containing a caustic substance sent to Cherie Blair and a Scottish MP's aide say two more suspect parcels have been traced. Officers say it is too early to tell if the latest cases are linked to the original packages which contained the highly corrosive liquid caustic soda, disguised as aromatherapy oil.

The Metropolitan Police were alerted after an anonymous telephone call was made to a journalist on the News of the World newspaper on Friday. The caller claimed to be from the Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA), whose members have been dubbed the "tartan terrorists".

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles, whose assistant was sent a package, believes he may have been targeted because he was born and educated in the north east of England. He was tipped off about the danger and managed to warn his helper, who is also English, before she opened the package on Friday.

The caller said 16 packages had been sent and police are trying to track down up to 14 which have not been recovered.

'Criminal Act'

Scotland Yard said on Saturday police were investigating reports of two more suspicious packages which may already have been destroyed. The packages are in the form of a jiffy bag with a Glasgow post mark and a white address label.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Fry, head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch, said directions for use contained in the recovered packages were "cynically dangerous", given the potential medical threat.

"Public safety is a prime issue and as such we had no hesitation in issuing a warning around these packages," he said.

"This is a criminal act intended to cause harm.

"We repeat our advice that anyone who receives a package should contact police on 999."”

Much of the media coverage, predictably but without any evidence whatever, publicly identified Adam Busby as the sender, as the "prime suspect", although how a person under constant police surveillance in Ireland could have sent toxic packages from Glasgow was rarely addressed by the media. See Gerard Seenan's article: "SNLA man suspected over toxic packages", in the "Guardian" of Monday March 4th, 2002, for a good example of this and some fairly imaginative reporting.

The Sunday Mail of 3rd March, 2002, seemed to believe that Adam Busby was personally responsible for sending the packages:

"At least one of the packages had been posted in Glasgow on Monday. Police are investigating whether Busby may have traveled to and from Ireland, using yesterday's rugby international as cover.

After the contaminated parcels were found, officers in Dublin were immediately dispatched on a covert operation to trace Busby's movements."

What very few in the media noticed was that the SNLA's telephone call to the "News Of The World" offices was made on the 1st of March, 2002 - a very significant date - as it was the 20th anniversary of the official opening of the SNLA's campaign on the 1st of March, 1982.

However, the SNLA had a lot more on its mind than its 20th birthday celebrations.

The caller made it perfectly clear that the Caustic Soda incidents were a mere experiment.

The SNLA, he said, had developed Weapons Of Mass Destruction which it intended to use to free Scotland.

The exact wording of the SNLA communiqué was reproduced in the "News Of The World" on Sunday the 3rd of March 2002:

"An attempt has been made to murder Cherie Blair and 15 others.

On Sunday 24th February 2002, a total of 16 postal packages were sent from different locations in the Glasgow area.

Each package purported to contain a complimentary sample of an aromatherapy skin lotion.

Each package contained a professionally-produced leaflet proclaiming the virtues of the new product, and a 10ml bottle of the "product".

In fact, the bottle contained 10ml of a Sodium Hydroxide solution blended with aromatic oil. This solution is toxic and immediately corrosive on contact with skin, eyes, and body tissue of any kind.

It is lethal by inhalation, and each bottle contained enough to ensure death by the shock effect of chemical burns.

The 16 targets were a range of figures within the Labour, Conservative and Liberal-Democratic parties, and other selected targets. All received the packages at their home addresses.

Mrs Blair's was sent directly to No 10 Downing Street. The other targets were distributed throughout Scotland and England. An example is Margaret Ashcroft, a Lib-Dem hack associated with the MSP Mike Rumbles.

Should the State attempt to deny that these attacks took place, as we expect they will, we will simply repeat the attacks using a totally different method of dispersal.

We have the technology to make and use Weapons of Mass Destruction and we will use these as and when we see fit."

An absurd claim in regard to WMD? The very few journalists who reported on this aspect of the story treated it as bombastic nonsense.

In fact, Caustic Soda forms a lethal aerosol which kills by inhalation and corrodes all human tissue on contact, and the SNLA has developed a very simple, cheap and very effective means of creating and dispersing as a WMD a liquid aerosol which contains Caustic Soda.

There are suspicions that the Finns employed it as an improvised chemical weapon against the Russians in 1939 - 1940, and in Finland Caustic Soda is considered to be so dangerous that sales are banned to the general public. (Despite this ban, anyone can manufacture it at home from salt and water and a car battery, using a simple process of electrolysis.)

More recently Caustic Soda has been used as a weapon in Cambodia and in Bosnia. The recent advent of inorganic plastics has meant that materials such as polypropylene can now be used for the long- and medium-term storage of liquid solutions of Caustic Soda, thus enabling its use in the form of a standard weapon.

In particular, it is easy to adapt Caustic Soda for use as a lethal aerosol - a fact which the SNLA had been the first terrorist group to realise. In this form it is as dangerous as Mustard Gas, and easy, simple and cheap to make, and to disperse as a WMD.

There is evidence that, using a cover name, the SNLA had already threatened to use just such an aerosol in the USA, in particular in Washington and in New York. This was done in mid-2001, and it was done purely in order to test the US authorities' reactions to the threat - which were considerable - and which were duly noted by the SNLA's observers in the USA.

The method of manufacture and dispersal of the Caustic Soda aerosol was described to me in detail by Alec:

"It is very simple. Remember that an aerosol is only solid or liquid particles suspended in gas. The gas in this case is ordinary air – which is a mixture of gases including the Oxygen we breathe.

You can buy Caustic Soda in most chemists for a couple of quid.

It is in the form of tiny bone-dry solid particles called prills. It must be kept away from air and moisture during storage, because it begins to absorb moisture from the air immediately on exposure to air.

To make the aerosol, you buy three plastic bottles of dry CS which is about £2.50 for a bottle containing 500g of CS. So you have three bottles of CS which together weigh one and a half kilograms.

Then you mix a liquid solution of CS and cold water.

But you are not in laboratory conditions, and don't have a constant temperature, sophisticated graphs or measuring equipment. So you mix it approximately to obtain good results.

This means that, very slowly, you mix the one and a half kilos of dry CS into a clear plastic (not metal) beaker or basin which contains 5 litres of cold tap water. And it's cold water, not hot water.

You must obey the safety rules which are written on the side of the bottle. Wear a simple paper or cloth respirator or mask over your nose and mouth, plastic goggles or glasses, and gloves.

Use a wooden spoon or plastic spoon - not metal - to slowly add CS to cold water, never add water to CS, and slowly stir it in. Obey the simple safety rules and you'll never have any problems. It's safe and easy.

Continue to stir the CS in slowly. The solution will begin to warm up slightly. This is called the exothermic reaction. The heat will soon disappear.

When the CS is mixed in thoroughly, let the solution sit undisturbed for a few minutes. After this time you should have a clear nearly colourless liquid which has a very, very slight blue tinge.

Then you pour the pure CS solution into a strong, very thick plastic - not metal - container and seal it very tightly.

The next step is to obtain a plastic pneumatic garden spray.

You'll find a wide variety in any garden centre. These are plastic containers which you pressurize yourself by pumping air unto them.

The best type is the Hozelock Polyspray 2. It is only about 15 inches high, and holds 1.25 litres of CS solution.

You take it to the target area and pour the CS solution into the spray. The base for the attack should be high in a building about 30 feet or more above a crowded target area. The higher the better. Best conditions are a warm, dry day or a dry night with a stiff wind or breeze.

Then you pump air into the spray so that it is pressurized. Then you position the spray or sprays. You simply push a slide on top of the spray and then you walk away.

When the slide is pushed forward the spray is on automatic and it will discharge a litre of the CS solution in about two minutes.

The CS solution is sprayed high over the target area in a steady stream. The air pressure causes the stream of CS to break up, and the CS stream disintegrates into millions of tiny particles. The larger particles precipitate-by-gravity. In other words they fall to the ground, but the smaller particles remain airborne and form a barely visible light mist which the breeze disperses widely.

A lot of people will get sprayed by large particles of CS solution and this stuff is a corrosive. It doesn't burn holes through things like a naked flame. It corrodes the skin, the underlying tissue, the eyes and anything else it contacts. It eventually exhausts its corrosive power, leaving a permanent bluish-green mark on the skin. It is really dangerous.

The smaller particles will reduce in size until they are microscopic, and are small enough to be inhaled, and lodge in the lung. When this happens the lung damage is long-term and often irreversible. The CS particles in the air will eventually convert to Sodium Carbonate when they come in contact with Carbon Dioxide in the air, but Sodium Carbonate is also nasty stuff if inhaled.

Another thing about CS, and Sodium Carbonate for that matter, is that they have a time-delay effect of about three minutes. In other words, when someone first comes into skin contact with CS they feel nothing for about three minutes.

By the time they begin to feel something - mild irritation at first, very acute and unbearable pain later - it is too late to treat the injury. So an attacker with an automatic spray can launch an attack on a rush-hour crowd, and be far away before the attack was even noticed."

In March 2002 the story of the Caustic Soda experiment continued when, shortly after the packages were sent, a large number of members of the Scottish parliament received anonymous e-mails from the SNLA in which they and their families were threatened with attacks by Caustic Soda.

This sparked fresh headlines and a major and costly security operation to protect the MSPs and their families at all times, and in all locations.

According to another report about these threats in mid-March, 2002, the police had warned all MSPs to be on alert over the new wave of threats.

True to the SNLA's previous form, of meticulously testing the State's reactions to new weapons, in early 2003 they tested the British government's response to the Caustic Soda aerosol by threatening to use it in the UK immediately prior to, and in response to, the Iraq war.

The British government had to mount a security operation throughout the UK in response to the threat - which the government acknowledged receiving but refused to discuss in detail on the grounds that the threat was not "specific".

Again the SNLA had used a cover name for this operation - this time the name of an Anarchist group which is also believed to have an interest in WMD.

The question seems not if, but when and where, the SNLA will use the Caustic Soda aerosol they have perfected.

Author's Notes:

Note1: It has been widely claimed that the package sent to Cherie Blair at No.10 Downing Street was intercepted at an off-site screening centre before it reached Downing Street, and a general alert was then issued. This is not true.

The package was sent from Glasgow on Sunday 24th February, 2002, and it was postmarked at the Glasgow Mail Centre on the 25th. It was then screened at the off-site screening centre which handles Downing Street's mail - and it was not intercepted.

It was then sent into No. 10 Downing Street and was date stamped as being received there on Wednesday the 27th of February, 2002, a fact noted in some media reports. (The Downing Street date stamp is clearly visible in photographs of the envelope which appeared in the media at the time.)

The "Evening News" of Saturday the 2nd of March, 2002, reported:

"It clearly bore a Glasgow mail centre post mark dated February 25 and was marked with a stamp for the Prime Minister's mail reception centre, dated February 27. 

And, when contacted by my newspaper on the afternoon of Friday the 1st of March, 2002, Downing Street officials knew absolutely nothing of the package. Only later on the same day did the authorities issue a general alert, and acknowledge that a package had been discovered at No.10 Downing Street (and not in the off-site screening centre as later claimed).

Even some of the other Scottish media reported that the package had not been detected, and that it had been delivered to No. 10 Downing Street. For example, the "Sunday Mail" of March the 3rd, 2002, reported:

"The latest victim was Margaret Ashcroft, a Lib Dem treasurer who works for English-born MSP Mike Rumbles. She opened a parcel delivered to her house on Friday - an identical one arrived at 10 Downing Street addressed to Cherie Blair on Wednesday.

And the SNLA have since totally denied that any of their members ever telephoned Scotland Yard to warn them of the packages (as the official sources would later - somewhat improbably - claim). All telephone calls to Scotland Yard are recorded and can be traced rapidly - facts which are well known to the SNLA, and which would deter them from making such a call.

The police alert was first issued on the evening of 1st March, 2002, by which time Cherie Blair had left for Australia. She was, however, present in Downing Street on the day that the package was received there.

Another point, ignored by most of the media, is that Cherie Blair has a known interest in aromatherapy and health products, which testifies to the extremely detailed research which went into the operation.

Note 2: What became of the other 14 packages containing Caustic Soda? The identity of at least one other recipient is known to me.

Chapter Twenty Seven

Improvised Explosives

Alec gives a description of an improvised explosive device which has been used by the SNLA and which is still in their arsenal:

"Most people think that commercial explosives are the top of the range. So did we until we got some experience with them. The first problem is getting them. You have to steal them or buy them from criminals or smugglers. This is very risky.

Then you have to transport them and store them. This isn't easy because they leave very distinctive forensic traces everywhere: in your car, on your clothes and even on your skin. Storing them isn't easy either, because commercial explosives are designed to be used shortly after manufacture, and so they have a very short shelf-life.

After a while they become unstable if they're not stored properly, and then they're really dangerous to the user. And even in good condition they're not easy to work with. They give off fumes which can give you hellish headaches for a start, and the detonators are often unreliable and don't work.

The detonators are mass manufactured too, by the way, and are meant to be used fairly soon after manufacture, not kept in storage for lengthy periods which causes them to degrade.

There are also dangers in combining electric batteries with detonators and explosives. Contrary to popular belief the electricity in a battery is dynamic. It can cross or bridge gaps in an electrical circuit and cause premature explosions - which is why explosives experts always use detonation boxes and never batteries.

The best and safest thing is to use mechanical means to cause the detonators to work. If electric batteries have to be used then it is safest to build in a double trigger. This means that there are two breaks in the electrical circuit, not just one, and both have to be closed before the device will explode. This absolutely guarantees safety.

But, best of all is to make up your own explosive devices. Be self-sufficient and innovative. Tear up the so-called rule book.

The easiest way is to use cylinders of Butane or Propane gas which can be bought legally anywhere.

What you do is get a metal bin like a dustbin or trash can or an oil drum. Just be sure that it is water-tight and isn't leaking. Then you get a Butane-filled or Propane-filled hard steel metal cylinder, but not the smallest types which are in soft metal containers.

Empty out approximately one half of the contents of the cylinder. The contents are gas in liquid form (LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas).

This is easy to do, as you just take it outside to a location where there are no heat sources or sources of ignition and insert a small screwdriver in the valve on top, releasing the gas.

Then you place the approximately half-empty cylinder in the metal bin, but the cylinder must go in upside down. This is vital because, if it isn't upside down, the pressure when intense heat is applied will force the valve on top to blow off prematurely, and there will be no major explosion.

So the gas cylinder must go in upside down so that the valve is at the bottom of the metal bin.

Then you get four or five stout wooden wedges and wedge the cylinder tightly inside the metal bin.

Then petrol is poured into the metal bin until it reaches a level inside the bin at which the entire gas cylinder is completely covered by the petrol.

The petrol is then ignited – carry two lighters and two boxes of matches to be on the safe side – and, standing back about five or six feet, screw up a couple of newspaper pages into a ball, light them and throw them into the metal bin.

This ignites the petrol and it burns away until eventually it burns down to the level of the gas cylinder.

When it is burning all the heat from the petrol goes upwards - none of it goes downwards – but, when the petrol has burned down to the same level as the gas cylinder, then the heat from the burning petrol reaches the gas cylinder. Because it is half-empty, the uppermost half of the cylinder is filled with flammable petrol vapour, and this will ignite when sufficient heat is conducted through the metal of the cylinder and reaches the vapour.

This causes a massive blast and a fireball. There is also a lot of fragmentation from the gas cylinder, and so this is a really powerful and dangerous device, and it is simple and safe to make and use. A medium sized cylinder will easily demolish a house, for example.

It is also cheap and easy to acquire the materials, and there is no risk in acquiring them as it is perfectly legal to buy them. Also, no significant forensic traces are left because these are all household items and even if traces are left they are not likely to be unusual or individually distinctive.

This type of device was used in November 1983 to attack the Tory office in Glasgow, but it wasn't properly put together – the gas cylinder wasn’t upside down - and it didn't ignite properly.

(Author: See chapter: "Letter Bomb Mayhem".)

Another version was used in April 1986 to damage the British Airways office in Lumley Street in London. It caused a lot of damage and had to be set off in the early hours of the morning to avoid causing massive civilian casualties.

This was because the street is just off Oxford Street, and, in any case it would have been too busy during the day to let us plant the bomb, and then take into account the time it takes for the petrol to ignite the gas in the cylinder.

What this was about was an attack on the British Airways offices in Lumley Street. There was a move to privatize BA completely and there were a lot of fears in Scotland that essential air services to remote areas would be withdrawn, and there would be job losses and so on.

We set the bomb up on the pavement outside the doorway of the BA offices, ignited it and then walked away.

The eventual explosion was massive and we heard it ourselves a good distance away. Really loud, and it seemed to go on and on with a lot of other sounds thrown in. This was in the early hours of the morning and the street was deserted.

The media immediately began to scream about Libyan terrorism - because this was just after the American bombing of Libya - and they also said the target was an American consulate or the US Embassy which is in the area or nearby.

This was bullshit because the bomb was nowhere near the US Embassy and it wasn't in Oxford Street either, but in Lumley Street which runs off Oxford Street.

When the claim was phoned in, we had to identify the correct target which was the BA offices and give the correct location. We also gave a correct description of the device as being (made) from a gas cylinder. This went to the Press Association a couple of hours afterwards but it didn't make the news until it was mentioned in the Commons that day or that night. The media kept rabbiting on about the Libyans and the American Embassy." (See Note.)

Author's Note: I was able to confirm this incident from a number of sources.

For example, the "Times" of April 25th, 1986, quotes a statement to the House of Commons by Giles Shaw, then Home Office Minister of State, in which he refers to the claim made to the Press Association by the SNLA about the bombing of the British Airways office. His remarks are also recorded in “Hansard”.

This bombing took place during a period of intense SNLA activity. Letter bombs had been sent to Malcolm Rifkind, then Secretary of State for Scotland, and to the Chairman of British Steel only a few days previously, and the campaign continued with the letter bomb addressed to Douglas Hurd which ignited inside the Home Office on July 16th 1986.

Chapter Twenty Eight

Secret Society

The SNLA is a secret society devoted to physical force struggle against the British State. But how is it organised and how do its members maintain their security?

The first rules of the SNLA are security, security and security.

Alec explains:

"The first thing is security in organizational size and structure. Basically, the more people in the organisation as a whole the weaker it becomes.

Larger numbers mean weaker security because most people will talk. But larger numbers are also bad because, in any field of human activity, there are only about 7% of the population who will ever play an active role in anything. This is basic sociology.

Recruitment of large numbers of people just means that you have a large group of useless people who never do anything. You can't get them to do anything because they have an endless supply of reasons why they can't take part in operations or do anything.

And so they become a problem in themselves, spreading negativity and a depressing spirit of do-nothingness.

Above all they talk, talk, talk. They tell everyone they meet what is going on, who is doing what, and everything else they know about the SNLA. The people they've talked to then tell the people they know, and those people pass it on to others they know, who tell others, and so on. Pretty soon what is supposed to be secret information is known to large circles of people.

The wannabes and weekenders always find an excuse never to do anything. They are full of excuses and "buts", and they'll never do anything even if you put a gun to their heads, so they're just dead wood and you have to dump them sooner rather than later. To be fair to them, they are not simply cowards, they are just fairly ordinary people and they are constitutionally incapable of action.

But you can't work on that basis, or on any basis with people like that. What you need are a small number of real activists.

The real activists are easy to recognize. They are asked to do something and they just say "Right", and then they go and do it, and that's that. And they don't talk out of school either. The best thing is to recruit very, very carefully and very, very selectively. It should be strictly FAO - For Activists Only - and that way you have no problems with security and wannabes.

Some activists prefer to work on their own, but usually a cell is formed. But the cell should never consist of more than two people.

Two people will bond together and work together effectively. But if there are more than two people then they will split. If there are three people, then you'll get a split with two on one side and one on the other. If there are four people, then you'll get a split with two on one side and two on the other. And so on.

So the ideal cell will consist of only two people. And only one person if that person wants to work on his own. This small size is also much better from a security point of view.

The activists should always be in deep cover.

Deep cover means total anonymity. This means that they do not belong to any political party or group, do not buy political papers or visit political websites on the Internet, don't collect newspaper cuttings - which is a dead giveaway - and they should never express political opinions to others, and – especially - to those closest to them.

And that means their best friends, wives and families. As well as everyone else.

No one should know anything, and the activist is protected, because he is known even to those who know him best as a person who has no political allegiances or interests, and who never expresses political opinions.

And newspaper cuttings about SNLA operations or similar operations should never be collected - a dead giveaway, as I said. They can also be used as evidence.

The SNLA is a secret society, and its members are absolutely forbidden to tell anything, even to hint or let slip a crumb of information, to anyone outside the group.

That is deep cover.

So an ideal cell will consist of only one or at most two people who can operate freely and without suspicion indefinitely.

There are other very simple security considerations. Materials should be bought in city centre locations and in a variety of different shops. The activist should never shop locally or in one shop only.

They should be wearing driver's gloves which don't attract suspicion, especially if you let a car key ring with a fob be seen dangling from your pinkie (little finger). This makes it looks like you've just stepped out of your car to make a couple of purchases. This is all done to avoid leaving fingerprints.

Then there are barcodes. These should always be removed because they allow the materials to be traced back to the shop that they're sold in. The barcode is part of the EPOS system, which means Electronic Point Of Sale.

It's amazing how many people don't know about this. But it's got nothing to do with security or surveillance as paranoid conspiracy theorists try to tell you. It's to do with checking sales and with electronic stocktaking.

All materials we use in an SNLA op (operation) should be completely untraceable.

Driver's gloves are good for working with materials, and gloves are always worn when buying or working with materials, and they're cheap so they can be disposed of at the end of the op and replaced with a new pair for the next op.

Rubber or latex gloves - such as surgical gloves - are a waste of time because they make your hands sweat, the rubber tends to tear and they react with all sorts of glues and chemical substances.

It's better to wear driver's gloves which cover the whole hand or even canvas work gloves. The common type of wool gloves are OK for ops but no good for delicate work because they leave visible traces of wool on the surface of things like letter bombs.

All the materials and tools - and this means all of them - left over at the end of an operation should be destroyed, and this means cutting them up into tiny pieces or breaking them and dumping them. This includes all tools, such as scissors, pliers, etc., which can be individually identified by tool mark identification.

Destroying any type of materials doesn't mean flushing them down the toilet because this leads to blocked drains and awkward questions.

And left over materials shouldn't be burnt either as a lot of the materials, like certain glues, will be too flammable, while others just won't burn or don't burn completely. And fires also attract unwanted attention.

It's safer just to cut or break everything up and then dump it in a sealed plastic bag a distance away from where you live, say a mile or two away. Best to do this at night.

Then there's DNA evidence. This is no problem so long as you use tap water to seal envelopes, and to fix stamps and so on.

Finally, there's CCTV cameras. People are really frightened of these, but simple precautions render CCTV useless.

All that's needed is a simple disguise. For example, a person who doesn't wear specs can get a pair with clear lenses, or a person who normally wears them can get an extra pair with different frames. Then there are baseball caps and monkey hats or hoods to cover the head.

A scarf can cover the lower part of the face, and so on. Anything which changes or covers the normal appearance is enough to fuck up CCTV pictures, especially if it's dark or at night.

If there is a real CCTV problem in daylight then a wig, dark glasses and hair dyes can be used. Or just a hood.

Another security precaution is to go through all your pockets before an op and remove everything you don't need. It's amazing how rubbish can accumulate in the pockets. It might only be a used bus ticket, but if you accidentally drop it at the scene and it's got your fingerprints on it then you are in big trouble. But very basic precautions make it extremely simple and easy, and extremely safe, to operate from deep cover.

The British State likes to give the impression that it is all-knowing, all-seeing, and that everyone is under constant surveillance. MI5 deliberately plants stories in the media to exploit this type of paranoia. The "Sunday Times" is full of planted stories, for example, although all newspapers carry these stories on a regular basis.

This is known as perception management.

But the truth is that MI5 is a very small organisation which has a long history of incompetence. One of our people was once followed around by a female MI5 agent he nicknamed "Blondie". She was so obviously keeping him under surveillance it was clear to him that she was a pathetic amateur.

So avoid paranoia. Don't jump to conclusions which are based on paranoid notions, especially those which appear in the media. The paranoid world view is called the "World of Mirrors". This is where people are literally terrified and crippled by their own paranoia.

But to avoid this it is only necessary to adopt a sensible and balanced approach. It's always necessary to remember that the most obvious and common-sense solution in any situation is always the most likely solution.

For example, if somebody breaks into your house then it's most likely to be the local burglar. It is extremely unlikely to be a break-in by MI5 or some other intelligence agency.

But there are deliberate attempts to peddle paranoia on behalf of the State.

Every year some fool of an MP stands up in parliament and asks the Home Secretary how many warrants for telephone intercepts were issued in the previous year.

The answer is that there were such-and-such a number which represents such-and-such a percentage increase in telephone intercepts on the previous year.

Then MPs and civil liberties groups start complaining about the erosion of personal liberties and so on. The mistake they all make is in assuming that the warrants for telephone intercepts are all used for political surveillance.

They are dead wrong. We once had a contact with a telephone engineer who actually carried out the intercepts. He said that none of the intercepts he had done was to do with political surveillance. It is usually a lot more mundane than that.

The telephone is a major instrument of crime. It can be used to convey threats, obscene telephone calls and so on. There is so much of this going on that the police can't handle it all. So BT (British Telecom) has established a Malicious Calls Bureau.

It is based in Dundee, and it deals with the bulk of nuisance calls.

A typical example of the need for a warrant is the problem they have with obscene telephone callers. These callers are frequently serial callers. When they call a woman at home, the telephone operator can screen her calls or she can change her number and go ex-directory.

But, when the obscene telephone caller targets women employees in a business premises, the business can't screen all its callers or go ex-directory.

To have any chance of catching the guy and proving the case against the caller, the police get a warrant to monitor and trace the calls going into the office. This is usually done with the approval and consent of the office manager.

But the office manager can't give consent on behalf of the numerous callers who will ring the office in the course of normal business. And so a warrant is granted to legalize the situation so that the routine calls can be monitored. When the obscene caller tries it again his call will be intercepted and traced.

Telephone intercepts are usually concerned with matters as mundane and sordid as that.

This isn't to say that there isn't political surveillance taking place. There obviously is, and a hell of a lot of it. For example, there's the Echelon system, but anyone with half a brain isn't going to use the telephone to discuss their own confidential business anyway.

The SNLA is a broad front and membership is open to anyone who agrees with our aims and accepts our discipline, but our underlying ideology is Maoist, although not all of our members are Maoists. We believe that the people themselves should seize State power.

Be independent, tear up the rule book and make your own rules, be proactive and act in the way that suits you best, and not in the way that convention supposedly demands. Continually do the unexpected and you always have the element of surprise, and you keep the enemy guessing.

Minimum risk, minimum effort, maximum damage. If we can badly damage the enemy's economy with as little risk to ourselves as possible, then that is our aim.

Operations should be planned to be low-risk. High-risk operations should always be avoided. And operations should always be low-cost. This means that we can pay for our own ops and avoid the risk of robberies and other types of fundraising. All such are extremely high-risk.

How we organise our communications can't be divulged."

Chapter Twenty Nine

SNLA Ideology

The SNLA, far from being romantic nationalists, are revolutionaries, and are so highly critical, indeed contemptuous, of the Scottish system as a whole that a selection of Alec's remarks are illustrative of the SNLA's philosophy, outlook and ideology:

Alec is particularly scathing in his criticisms of the Scottish legal system:

"The whole system is rotten to the core. It is very far from being "the best legal system in the world" - as we're constantly told ad nauseam. It is a feudal relic in the 21st century. The Lord Advocate is a State-appointed officer who is solely responsible for the PF (procurator fiscal) system (the Scottish prosecution service). He is in a position to do anything he damn well likes.

If we're talking about FAIs (Fatal Accident Inquiries) let's look at the death of Willie McRae. It was a political decision of the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor-General not to hold an FAI. We know this because Gordon Wilson (an SNP MP in 1985) revealed that at the time of McRae's death he was approached and asked whether the SNP wanted an FAI. But what the hell had it to do with the SNP?

The decision about the FAI should have been left to the local PF - so why did they consult the SNP about the case and make a political decision? The truth is that the SNP leadership knew that exposure of McRae's activities and links might embarrass them.

Some members of the SNP made it their business to wreck the campaign that was built up to investigate the McRae case. Strathern - Michael Strathern - was doing this for the SNP.

This carries on until the present time. Arnold Kemp the journalist wrote an article quite recently in which he mentioned the SNLA and Willie McRae in the same piece.

In a later article Kemp revealed that he had received a letter from Alex Salmond of the SNP taking him to task for mentioning Willie McRae's name together with that of the SNLA in the original article. (Note 1)

Given Scotland's provincial status within the UK, it probably isn't surprising that Scottish political parties have such a dismal record of passivity and collaboration with the British State.

The SNP are just State-sponsored nationalists. Collaborators. What more is there to say?

The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) is similar to the SNP in lacking any revolutionary approach or a genuine national outlook. Despite building a media image of militant socialism the SSP is also a constitutional fraud.

That isn't to say there aren't genuine revolutionaries in the SSP - there are plenty of them. But the power in the party is concentrated in the hands of people like Tommy Sheridan, and Sheridan ran the show almost single-handed. (Note 2.)

Tommy Sheridan has built up an image as a revolutionary socialist. The truth is he is an extreme moderate. His background is British Labour, and basically he has never changed. The SSP's so-called socialism is just a call for nationalisation of key sectors of the economy. That isn't socialism. It is just Old Labour's Clause Four which is an alternative to socialism.

The SSP is equally dishonest when it comes to the issue of Scottish Independence. Like the SNP, they are actually European integrationists, but they babble some nonsense about converting the European Union into a united "Socialist States of Europe".

Sheridan has an appalling record. He first came to prominence during the campaign against the Poll Tax. You'll recall that when Thatcher introduced the Poll Tax, it was established in Scotland a year before it was introduced in England. This was because Thatcher wanted to have a political experiment in Scotland, in order to measure the level of resistance to the Poll Tax.

What happened was that there was no effective resistance to the Poll Tax in Scotland. The political parties just treated the issue like a political football, while Tommy Sheridan started a campaign of peaceful civil disobedience, organizing pointless protest marches, disobeying court orders and the like. All totally ineffective.

Meanwhile the Poll Tax system was working well in Scotland. The Poll Tax was being paid in most cases, and there was no resistance to it.

The result of the Scottish experiment was that Thatcher got the idea that the Poll Tax could be introduced into England without fear of any real resistance there either. She couldn't have been more wrong because the English aren't as sheepish as the Scots.

What happened was that after the Poll Tax was introduced in England, there were two big protest marches on the same day. One in Glasgow, one in London.

The one in Glasgow was headed by Tommy Sheridan and had ten or twenty thousand people and it passed off peacefully. The police said it had a carnival atmosphere and the like, which means that it was totally ineffective. A typical moral force protest. Conscience-soothing tokenism.

But the march in London, which had a hundred thousand people, turned into the Trafalgar Square Riots - which finally forced Thatcher to abandon the Poll Tax, of course.

It was what Sheridan did then that shows him in his true colours. When he found out that there were serious riots in London, he immediately flew to London and appeared on TV condemning the rioters and supporting the police.

At the time he was speaking the police had gone ballistic and were on the rampage beating up people on the streets, and a lot of them were innocent people who hadn't even been on the march.

But, while the police were beating people up on the streets, Sheridan appeared on TV and attacked the so-called rioters. In reality, he was speaking in defence of the police and the British State. That's Sheridan for you.

He is all clenched fists and pseudo-socialist rhetoric. But he's really an extreme moderate and no socialist.

There are still plenty of English and Scottish socialists who think Sheridan is a sheep in wolf's clothing who gives socialism a bad name - because of his actions on the day of the Trafalgar Square Riots. But it doesn't stop there. He is still at it.

Sheridan is all in favour of civil disobedience and uses his participation in it to boost his desired image of a militant socialist. He is supposedly a prominent anti-nuclear campaigner.

But let's look at the facts. Let's suppose that the nuclear base at Faslane was situated near London or any other major city in England. How long would it last?

Not very long because tens of thousands of peace activists, eco-warriors and anarchists would descend on it, physically blockade it, tear down the security fences, invade the base and sabotage any equipment they could lay hands on. They would use NVDA (Non-Violent Direct Action) and they wouldn't give up until they had forced the base to close down.

And they would force it to close down. Force them to do it, not beg them with silly petitions and other useless pleadings.

The nuclear base would be under constant siege, inoperable and therefore useless. And the State would be forced to close it down whether it liked it or not. This is the effect of physical force.

But what happens in Scotland? Sheridan and a load of clergymen and other do-gooders make a token protest by sitting on the road or holding a peaceful demo near the base. Great publicity for Sheridan, but it doesn't interfere one bit with the State's ability to operate the base at Faslane, and the continued operation of the base is ensured.

The demonstrators in Scotland will only use so-called civil disobedience - which is a complete waste of time - and the State knows that its base is completely safe.

In this way, Sheridan and his like actually work with and for the State because their very limited actions are no threat to the State, and their actions are a barrier to the formation of an NVDA campaign which would shut the base down.

Civil disobedience is a pro-State confidence trick. It is really moral force which is just another name for servile appeals to authority, but civil disobedience can be confused with NVDA - which is effective physical force - because it has some of the outward appearances of NVDA, with people getting arrested and so on.

In reality, civil disobedience can never be effective because it doesn't even interfere with or hinder the object of the protest.

Another example of the total uselessness of civil disobedience is the SKAT campaign. This acronym stands for Skye and Lochaber against the tolls on the Skye road bridge. Although it has been around for more than ten years, SKAT has never done anything to prevent the tolls being collected and has never achieved anything. How could they achieve anything when they don't do anything?

On occasion SKAT supporters have refused to pay the tolls on the bridge, and got fined. When a couple of them refused to pay the fines they were briefly locked up. But what good did that do?

The tolls are still being collected and the profits from the tolls are still rolling into the coffers of the Bank of America which financed the bridge. And you can bet that the directors of the Bank of America have never even heard of SKAT.

What SKAT should have done was to continually dump oil and broken glass on the Skye bridge, and on the approaches and roads leading to the bridge. This would have put the bridge out of use for long periods and no tolls would have been collected. A sustained campaign like this would ultimately have forced the British government and the Bank of America to take action to reduce or remove the tolls completely.

But, of course, nothing like this was ever done and the SKAT campaign has been a total waste of time. It is what is called "respectable" - and therefore totally useless because it is completely harmless and irrelevant to the object of the campaign.

These things - civil disobedience and all that garbage - are really counter-productive because at the end of the day they only serve the interests of the British State. They provide the illusion of resistance, but in fact they are only engaged in token protest.

To be effective, it is necessary to move from protest to resistance.

The British State - and every other State - is based on violence and on force, and the State only responds to force of one kind or another. So-called democracy is really the class rule of the Capitalist class. It is probably the most effective form of social and political control ever devised. The people are willing slaves of the system which oppresses them.

To overthrow the whole system requires force.

And force doesn't always mean violence. For example, an industrial strike is physical force because it involves the physical withdrawal of labour, as well as pickets which physically prevent deliveries – and black-legging and scabbing. And if workers hadn't used the strike weapon - which was originally illegal - they would still be working sixteen hour days."

The SNLA are equally scathing in their criticism of the SNP fringe groups whom they characterize as the “Brit Boys”:

"There are all sorts of tiny pseudo-Republican, pseudo-nationalist and wannabe "Super-Revolutionary" groups in Scotland. We estimate their total combined membership at 150 to 200 people. Basically they are all pro-SNP or pro-SSP groupies who never do anything except babble nonsense. They aren't activists and do absolutely nothing, and know absolutely nothing. They are just children playing childish games, playing at being nationalists and Republicans.

They are a negative and counter-productive force in Scottish politics because by their passivity they have habitually encouraged a tradition of non-resistance to the State, and this tradition endures to this day.

The so-called Scottish Republican groupies don't even know what Republicanism means. It certainly isn't Republicanism in the Irish context which is physical force separatism and a total rejection of all forms of constitutionalism. They are only Republican in the sense that half the British Labour party is Republican. They just think monarchy is an outdated concept which should be done away with in the 21st century.

They talk about John Maclean (a famous Scottish Socialist) but they've never studied his works. They routinely describe him as a Marxist, although Maclean was actually a Syndicalist and never a Marxist in the Marxist-Leninist tradition. This isn't to criticize Maclean, but to criticize his so-called admirers.

Basically, they're all a waste of space. But what can you learn about revolutionary politics by handing out pamphlets? Nothing.

A person might just as well try to learn IT skills without going near a computer.

The only way to develop a political consciousness is in the process of physically resisting the State."

Note 1: The reference here is to two articles written by Arnold Kemp, which I managed to unearth. Arnold Kemp is a former editor of the Glasgow-based "Herald". The relevant extracts are reproduced below:

Extract 1:

"This Way Lies Fascism

Arnold Kemp

Sunday March 3, 2002

The Observer

The story of the SNLA's anthrax is linked to the name of the radical nationalist William McRae, an SNP vice-chairman, who was found shot in his car beside the A87 north of Fort William in 1985. He died next day. He was said to have been an 'active sympathiser' of the SNLA. Conspiracists have always believed that he was shot by the Special Branch. He had talked to friends of his conviction that he was under surveillance and that his 'cover had been blown'.

Extract 2:

"Songs of freedom

Hamish Henderson's death robs Scotland of its true poetic voice

Arnold Kemp

Sunday March 10, 2002

The Observer

Henderson is a father of what has come to be called 'inclusive' nationalism. This powerful notion has helped the SNP to marginalize its Anglophobic elements. (Incidentally, Alex Salmond dropped me a note last week to rebuke me for associating the name of the late Willie McRae with the SNLA, which he regards as entirely publicity-driven, the work of one or perhaps two fantasists.)”

Note 2: Tommy Sheridan is a former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party. He likes to portray himself as a revolutionary socialist.

Chapter Thirty

The SNLA And The Media

As mentioned previously, the Scottish media, reactionary, mediocre and parochial, and generally submissive to any form of authority, has always shown a marked reluctance to report SNLA activities.

Despite this, the SNLA's high-profile activities are frequently hard to ignore. The police have long since resorted to routine denials of SNLA activities, often denying the facts even when those facts can be independently verified.

In the mid-1990s, in order to make censorship official, the Major Crime Resource Unit - a police unit specially tasked to curb the activities of the SNLA - sent a senior officer to visit the editors of every major Scottish newspaper. The officers from the Major Crime Resource Unit were concerned that the SNLA were getting too much publicity!

In order to prevent this, the editors were instructed to inform the police immediately if they received any material relating to the SNLA and its activities. And, above all, nothing was to be reported until it had been approved by the police.

In effect, given the track record of the various police Press Officers in denying or downplaying SNLA activities, the intention was to impose a news black-out on the media and on the public.

In 2003 the High Court ordered that the media could not even report the name “SNLA” in covering the trial of Paul Smith!

Information control and perception management…or just plain censorship?

This censorship policy is clearly revealed in remarks by Alex Salmond of the SNP:

"The standard practice with so-called SNLA threats is to have no publicity or as little publicity as possible...".

In general SNLA communiqués are concise and truthful and, allowing for a certain understandable amount of exaggeration for propaganda effect, are generally accurate.

The same cannot be said of official statements which come from the police and other British authorities. They are often blatant lies. Usually, if an SNLA action can possibly be denied, the authorities simply deny that anything ever took place.

The original aim may simply have been to deny publicity to the SNLA, and, within limits, this is perfectly understandable, but the final result has been to undermine the integrity of the police and the British authorities themselves. They have also suffered because, like so many others who fall victim to their own lies, they are unable to understand, never mind analyse, the situation.

Reporting of SNLA activities by the Scottish and British media is equally appalling, and, regardless of the event being reported, consists of scattering clichés over a blank sheet of paper, and then filling in the spaces between such clichés as "self-styled", "crude", "hoax" and "amateurish", with whatever inaccurate invective the journalist can still muster.

All SNLA devices are "crude", for example, even ones like the Icarus device which managed to evade airport security, and was carried by air from Belfast to London. And so on and on ad nauseam.

The result of this has been much to the SNLA's advantage. While much of the media, many politicians and even the police themselves, and nearly all the public are misinformed and uninformed - and completely unable to form any clear idea of what is really going on - the SNLA can safely operate at will in the guise of mythical bogeymen created by the media's own ranting and self-deception.

For a terrorist group, this is sometimes a very useful advantage.

Chapter Thirty One

The Allies

Who are the allies of the SNLA?

In September 2001 I wrote an article on this subject for the "News Of The World". It was based on a detailed analysis of the situation following a thorough investigation, and on confidential information provided to me by a former member of the SNLA.

What is interesting is that within days of the article's publication a sanitized version of it had been re-published on the website of the Russian Maoist Party.

It is interesting and significant because the Russian Maoist Party were happy to re-publish the article but did not even make any attempt at any form of denial. Neither did the Real IRA offer any denial.

Below are extracts from the Russian Maoist Party's own version of the article which I had written:

"Tartan Hate Group Links With IRA For Terror Plot

By David Leslie

News of the World, Scottish edition, Sunday, September 23, 2001, p. 21.

The anti-English campaign to frighten Prince William from St. Andrews University has active backing from other terror groups.

On the eve of his arrival to begin art history studies they are already determined to make him quit his four-year course. A major News of the World investigation has raised serious concerns over the safety of the 19-year-old heir whose first term begins on September 24.

Behind the plot to create major disruption to Wills and his 6,000 fellow students is the outlawed Scottish National Liberation Army. Fanatic members led by 51-year-old founder member Adam Busby - a distant relative of football legend Sir Matt - want the Prince driven from Scotland just because he is English.

The tiny group of tartan terrorists, with cells in Dundee and Dumfries, would have little chance of success on their own. But former Argyll and Sutherland Highlander Busby and his followers have formed a series of potentially lethal links.

We can reveal they have support from the Real IRA - blamed for the Omagh bomb outrage that killed 29 people - the Russian Maoist Party, animal rights campaigners and an American-based pro-Celtic group dedicated to damaging English business interests.

From his Dublin home Busby is in regular contact with the Real IRA and was at one time arrested on suspicion of being a member of the extremist organisation. Irish police were forced to release him through lack of evidence.

The SNLA which uses its political wing, the Scottish Separatist Group, as a front for terror tactics has warned: “We can kill William should he attend, and we will.”

And in a horrifying new move the terrorists have set up a special website, The Assassin’s Guide to St Andrews, which promises maniacs intent on harming Wills: “Here is all the info you will need to kill him.”

It gives details of his movements, including a map of the town, suggests a spot for planting a car bomb which will “kill him and everyone else in the vicinity”, and says “no claim of responsibility must be made immediately as separate organisations are involved and this will confuse the investigation.”

During his terms at St Andrews Prince William will be protected by an armed personal bodyguard who will be able to call on a tiny unit from Fife police and members of the University’s own security staff. But there are fears that police are not taking the danger seriously enough.

The SNLA has spent two years developing expertise in poisons and infiltrating electronic systems.

Two years ago a detailed threat to cause mass murder in England by poisoning water supplies was discussed by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Cabinet.

The warning came in a series of letters posted by a members of a coalition headed by the SNLA, a Real IRA cell and animal rights volunteers.

Busby was arrested in Dublin on charges of Real IRA membership but was later released without charge. Since then the SNLA has made the most of help from highly educated sympathizers belonging to the other terror groups.

The American FBI now has a file on the SNLA after a series of frightening packages were sent in November and December 2000 to companies selling English-made goods and offices promoting business and tourism in Britain.

Claims that they were filled with a powder containing killer anthrax spores were taken seriously until analysts discovered the substance was harmless.

FBI agents traced the packages to Phoenix, Arizona.

They were unable to discover the senders but we can reveal SNLA and SSG members posted them.

Both organisations have members actively fund raising in the USA. Money to fund the Scottish Separatist Group and SNLA comes through the American-based William Wallace Society.

Since then the tartan terrorists with the help and guidance of the other groups have concentrated on attacking e-mail systems used by police forces in Scotland, the Scottish Executive, airlines, offices involved in promoting trade and tourism, St. Andrews University and media organisations.

Electronic mail purporting to come from senior Metropolitan police officers, University staff and even Scotland’s First Minister Henry McLeish has been so convincing it has fooled police and businesses.

Further packages falsely alleged to contain anthrax have been delivered to the heart of the University.

Details of security arrangements for the Prince have been posted on a Real IRA website.

And when the Home Office ordered server company Angelfire to remove the Scottish Separatist Group website the madcap Russian Maoist Party stepped in and is now hosting the site.

The Maoists have handed in a protest note to the British Embassy in Moscow complaining at the Prince being given a place at St. Andrews.

Irish Special Branch officers have recently been shadowing Busby, checking at any shops and offices visited by him.

At his Dublin home Busby said: “I have absolutely nothing to say to you or your f****** paper.”

But a former SNLA member said: “It’s obvious the police don’t fully realise the extent to which Busby has organised tie-ups with people like the Real IRA.

”He has recruited younger, university-educated people who have studied the effects of neuro-toxins, which were used as germ warfare weapons by the Russians in Afghanistan, and Dimethyl Sulfoxides which are safe on their own but can be highly dangerous when mixed with other chemicals.

And disrupting police and other emergency service e-mail systems could be disastrous in an emergency situation.”

I was queried at the time by a number of my colleagues who thought that the article was speculative and "alarmist". In fact, the article was soundly based on factual analysis and reflects, not only my own opinion, but that of experts within the British Intelligence community.

What is also significant is that the RMP website also contains a "joint declaration" which officially links the RMP and the SSG.

This joint declaration is the clearest possible evidence of the links between the two groups, as is the fact that the RMP hosts the SSG/SNLA website on its server.

So who are the Russian Maoist Party?

The RMP is part of the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) which is US-based, and is a seemingly legally-functioning alliance of revolutionary groups around the world, and includes fronts for both the SNLA and the Real IRA. But there is little legal about the Russian Maoist Party.

The RMP is merely a political front for the Russian League Of Revolutionary Youth (RLRY) - which operates in Russia and among the Russian minority in the Ukraine. The RLRY is a terrorist organisation which has taken part in numerous terrorist attacks in Russia, including attacks on the household gas supplies on which Russia is totally reliant.

The Russian "political prisoners" the RMP campaigns for are imprisoned members of the Russian League of Revolutionary Youth. And the national minorities which it supports are represented by, among others, the Afghan Liberation Organisation and the most extreme Chechen terrorists.

The SNLA's links to the Real IRA (and other dissident Irish Republicans) are equally real. The Real IRA runs an American-based website called Ireland's OWN which is linked to the SNLA's website.

In a grim section devoted to "Humour", the Real IRA's website quotes approvingly from a newspaper article which reveals their successful intelligence gathering on Prince William's movements:

"Ireland's OWN: Humour

The Mirror

September 4, 2001, Tuesday



Derek Lambie

PRINCE William was at the centre of a security crisis last night after terrorists revealed top secret university details.

The Real IRA used its internet site to inform members on what William's movements will be when he begins his studies at St Andrew's in three weeks.

The hate-filled web pages of the terrorist group responsible for the Omagh bomb hint that the young prince is the target of an assassination attempt.

Real IRA members also revealed hi-tech security systems and where royal bodyguards will stay during the 19-year-old's four-year History of Art course.

Terrorists accessing the information on the webpage, which is linked to other sinister sites, are asked to leave "intelligence" they may have on the prince.

The Real IRA, which was responsible for killing 29 people and unborn twins in Omagh in 1998, first published details of the royal security arrangements last year.

However, they updated their terrorist brief for members after recent changes to the prince's security were forced upon Buckingham Palace. The new information was posted on the Republican Intelligence page of the Real IRA's website for the first time at the weekend.

St Andrew's University has been targeted by the Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA) which sent a suspicious package to the campus two weeks ago."

What the article doesn't reveal is that all the information about Prince William on the Real IRA's website comes from the SNLA's "Assassin's Guide To St Andrews", and it was deliberately supplied to the Real IRA by the SNLA. And similar information about Prince William was previously supplied to the Real IRA in exactly the same way by the SNLA.

As far back as 1999 Adam Busby was arrested in Dublin on suspicion of membership of the Real IRA. This was in connection with the plot to poison England's water supplies, and, contrary to most media reports of the time which indicated that another four men who were arrested at the same time were allegedly members of the INLA, I have been able to discover that the persons referred to were, in fact, "dissident Republicans" all of whom allegedly had links of some kind to the Real IRA.

In addition Irish police have discovered the Real IRA's codeword on a computer in Adam Busby's Dublin home. But, as numerous people, either as visitors or guests, including some with Real IRA links themselves, also had unlimited access to the computer nothing could be proved against Busby. (Note 1.)

The links with militant Animal Rights campaigners are less well-documented, but at least one English woman who was once acquitted of an attempted bombing in the cause of animal rights had very close links to the SNLA at one time. Her name is known to me but, as she has never been accused of SNLA activities, I have chosen not to reveal it. (Note 2.)

In the 1980s, before the advent of the mobile telephone and the Internet, there were numerous conspiracy theories about an international terrorist network. In the 21st century, modern technology has permitted theory to become reality.

The fact that the SNLA is organisationally linked to other terrorist groups worldwide is indisputable.

Author's Notes:

Note 1: Adam Busby is well-known among Irish Republicans and has a friendly relationship of some kind with individuals from most of the Republican groups. This fact is well-known to the Irish police and to journalists in the Irish Republic, as the following report illustrates:

"Mail On Sunday", July 18, 1999:

"Scots Terror Chief Linked With Rogue IRA Killers

By Diarmid MacDiarmid

The Scots terrorist arrested last week for allegedly threatening mass murder by poisoning England's water supply has developed close links with one of Ireland's most feared paramilitary organisations.

Security sources say Adam Busby struck up friendships with members of the Continuity IRA while serving a prison sentence. His relationship with the organisation, a breakaway republican group opposed to the Provisional IRA's ceasefire, led detectives to keep him under close surveillance when he was released. They were worried the leader of the Scottish National Liberation Army's unpredictability and access to weapons through the Continuity IRA made him a major security threat.

One senior Garda detective in the Republic of Ireland said: 'We were very worried about what he might do here, in the North or on the British mainland. He holds extremist views and is fanatical about his cause. 'While his behaviour is highly unpredictable, he is not a stupid man. With the terrorist links he has developed he could well have been capable of planning and carrying out something big.

'We know police in Scotland have been very concerned about him because officers from Strathclyde regularly travel to Dublin to meet Garda Special Branch detectives.'

Detectives are also concerned about Busby's links to a former Irish National  Liberation Army terrorist wanted for murder in England. The man is believed to have left the INLA, but police are concerned he could pass his terrorist expertise on to Busby.

Last week he claimed he had left the SNLA but the authorities on both sides of the Irish Sea have no doubt he could still pose a major security threat."

Note 2: The hoax Anthrax letters sent to St Andrews university and the DEFRA HQ in London in August 2001, had notes which bore the name: "ARM". This was wrongly interpreted as an acronym for "Animal Rights Militia", leading some to believe that the SNLA had induced animal rights activists to send the letters.

This is not the case. The word "ARM" is simply the Gaelic name for an army, and has frequently been used by the SNLA.

Despite this, the SNLA's links with animal rights activists are a reality.

Chapter Thirty Two

The Future

The SNLA have over 20 years experience of struggle and resistance. Beginning in 1980 as a typically amateurish traditionalist group, they have matured into a tiny self-sustaining and totally dedicated group of highly intelligent revolutionaries and terrorists who will go to any lengths to achieve their aims.

They have a totally millenarian outlook and worldview. They, and only they, or those who are prepared to adopt their ideology and methods, can save Scotland and the world.

Absurd? Perhaps they are, but they also have a working knowledge of Weapons Of Mass Destruction and the knowledge of how to use them. Most importantly, they have the will and determination to use them.

They have proved that by the fact that they attempted to maim or kill umpteen very ordinary people simply to test the effects of Caustic Soda inhalation. They did it without a trace of hesitation or remorse.

And the recent attempt to introduce Lead Sulphate into the London water supply was a deliberate attempt at mass murder.

They are in the vanguard of what military analysts have called the Revolution In Warfare, the frightening scenario where a tiny group of sub-national actors can seriously threaten even the most powerful State with improvised WMD.

The attacks in the USA on September 11th, 2001, are the classic example of just this type of asymmetrical warfare.

The SNLA are fully conscious that they are a minority within a minority, and know that they can only hope to achieve their aims by the coercion of the British State using WMD.

The SNLA are fully prepared and determined to do just that, and they are now equipped to do just that. They also have powerful allies who will help them. The SNLA are not vicious, vindictive or psychopathic. They will do what they perceive they have to do without any malice or rancour. But they will not hesitate to do it.

This is the inside story of the SNLA, and it is a story which is far from over.

Appendix 1

The SSG's website gives this description of the SSG and of their relationship with the SNLA:

Scottish Separatist Group
The Scottish National Liberation Army


The Scottish Separatist Group operates this website. Please note that the


is an OPEN and LEGAL political organisation which gives political support to the




The Scottish Separatist Group was formed in October 1995 by former members and supporters of the Scottish National Liberation Army. The SSG is a legal political organisation which functions openly and non-violently, while giving political support to the SNLA.

Although this website also contains information about the SNLA – which is not a legal organisation - it is important to stress that the SSG and the SNLA are separate organisations.

The SSG has three main aims. These are:

1) To halt and reverse mass English Immigration into Scotland.
2) To restore Gaelic as the national language of all Scotland.
3) To establish and maintain a totally independent Scottish Republic.

The SSG is a Scottish Republican and revolutionary nationalist group which supports the Scottish National Liberation Army politically.

The SSG is, above all else, an ACTIVIST group which - unlike all other so-called "Scottish nationalist" groups - actively resists the British State.

The SSG totally rejects the passivity and the pseudo-nationalism of the collaborationist SNP and its allies.

These bogus "nationalists" have never achieved anything for Scotland - and never will.

The SNP leadership are only interested in getting themselves elected.

They are only careerists who want to exploit the genuine national aspirations of the Scottish people for their own ends.

The SSG believes that in Scotland it is now time for National Liberation!

We must rise up!
We must reject everything British!
We must resist and destroy the British State!
We must reclaim our own country, our own language, and our own Freedom!

Appendix 2

The Lee County Health Board gives a full account of the SNLA’s hoax Anthrax letter attack on Cameron's British Foods, as well as a very clear insight into, and assessment of the effect of, so-called "hoaxes". For this reason it is worth quoting at length:

"The first anthrax threat, or "event", occurred on a Friday morning last November, when Cameron’s British Foods in Cape Coral received a letter containing a tan powder.

An accompanying letter stated that the recipients had been exposed to anthrax, a potentially deadly bacterium.

Almost immediately after the initial 911 call was received, Lee County’s Emergency Operations Center had been activated, and as part of that activation the Lee County Health Department’s Rapid Response Team was notified.

Acting as a member agency of what is called The Unified Command and Control Unit, the health department dispatched an epidemiologist to the scene. The Unified Command and Control Unit brings health, fire, EMS and law enforcement expertise to one centralized location, near to, but outside the immediate crisis perimeter - protecting those with the expertise to contain the situation, as well as that of the public, is considered paramount.

The Unified Command and Control Unit orchestrates the actions of all involved, and also notifies the FBI of the event. At the Cape Coral site, the health department epidemiologist offered expertise in the areas of potential public health threat, incubation period, symptoms and treatments, containment, and potential for spread and methods of decontamination.

At the receiving hospital he met with victims and hospital staff.

Further, the health department made follow-up visits, administered precautionary medications, and during the event acted as health liaison between Department of Health headquarters in Tallahassee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

A second threat was received recently by another county business, and the health department played a similar role.

"Terrorist acts can and already have occurred in Lee County," states Dr. Robert South, epidemiologist at the Lee County Health Department.

Terrorism As A Hoax - The Costs

"Hoax is a term I personally don’t like to use in relation to a terrorist incident", says South, noting that as part of the investigation it may be established that although a biological agent was not present, an act of terror in fact had still occurred. He explains that in all incidents there are many consequences and many victims:

* terror and long term physiological affects suffered by those possibly exposed

*dollar value of lost business due to closing and inconvenience

*clean up cost to business and government

*evacuation of nearby homes, schools and businesses

*danger posed when emergency vehicles go to the location

*closing down access roads during event

*closing down receiving hospital with diversions of other emergencies to other hospitals

*taking fire and police crews and equipment out of general service to work the incident.

Government and the taxpayers suffer in every bioterrorist event.

The cost can be several thousand tax dollars that could be used for other public needs, and may involve the time, manpower and equipment of any or all of the following:

*Federal officials - FBI, CDC, Postal Inspectors, EPA, FDA, USDA

*State - State Emergency Operations and Department of Health

*Local - Emergency Operations Center (EOC), city and county government, the Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Unit (HAZMAT), Police and Sheriff’s Departments, and the Departments of Transportation and Public Safety.

The federal government defines terrorism as "...the unlawful use of force and violence against person or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objective."

If this is the intent, then the objective of the terrorist has been accomplished - with or without the use of a real agent."


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