Writing shortly after the arrest of a top British agent and senior IRA security figure Mick Hall said:
For both British army intelligence and the IRA the arrest of Scappaticci would open a can of worms, it's unlikely he will end up in a court of law.
Earlier this week it was reported Freddie Scappaticci had been arrested. Codenamed Stakeknife by his handlers in the army intelligence corps, he was one of the British state's most important informer's within the IRA.
A statement was issued by Operation Kenova, a task force led by Chief Constable Jon Boucher of Bedfordshire Police confirming “a 72-year-old man has been arrested.”
Boucher went on to say:
He is currently in custody at an undisclosed location and will be interviewed in relation to the investigation. No further details of the place of arrest or where he is being held will be released due to security reasons.
The Army’s former Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland, General Sir John Wilsey in a phone conversation with Martin Ingram (real name Martin Hurst) once described Scappaticci as:
“Our most important secret, he was a golden egg, something that was very important to the Army. We were terribly cagey about Fred.” Indeed they were cagey as the British security forces in Ireland colluded with "Fred" when he committed crimes up to and including murder.
The Chief Constable of the Bedfordshire Jon Boutcher, the man who is heading the investigation into Scappaticci has JFC Chicksands on his patch, it's home to the Joint Intelligence Training Group, the Headquarters of the Intelligence Corps, several operational units and elements of the Reserve Forces.
As Scappaticci was, and in all probability still is, an important asset of the Intelligence Corps it's unlikely they would have allowed him to be questioned outside their jurisdiction. Thus the army base at Chicksands which is just up the road from the chief constables office would be regarded as the ideal place for old friends and new to chat over a cup of tea.
Forgive my cynicism but the fact Scappaticci was later released on bail even though he is allegedly being investigated for upwards of 40 murders sums up which section of the UK's hard state is actually controlling this investigation.
Senior members of the Provisional IRA from Scappaticci's day must have hoped they had heard the last of him, as his arrest may raise fresh questions not only about the possibility of more informers within the upper echelons of the IRA, [and Sinn Féin] but also why it's Army Council left Scappaticci in place for so long.
Given it was inevitable a volunteer in such a position would have been a priority target of the RUC and the British intelligence services, not least because Scappaticci as a long time member, and later head of the IRA internal security unit had access to information from individuals with closely guarded secrets. The unit were also tasked with verifying the credibility of new recruits. The names of which he would have passed on to his British handlers in the Force Reaction Unit.