If the list is a computer-generated fiction, why has no one tracked down the names on it to see whether or not they are "real"?
Discussion in the UK Guardian suggests the "list" was randomly generated by cgi program in Lancaster and the whole thing is a great joke and publicity stunt by MI6 to discredit Richard Tomlinson.
Anyone who imagines there is anything sensible about the actions of the intelligence community has been reading too many John Le Carre novels. One thing we can count on: The Brits don't like to be seen to be foolish or gullible. Better to jump onto the side of "oh, I see, it was all a joke" than to keep the list up there. We have no difficulty with the idea that people are laughing at us. At least they are taking notice which breaks up the grey silence with which many of our serious stories are received.
Therefore inJusticebusters is proud to present the secret list of British MI6 officers that security services have been hunting down and shutting up in at least 3 countries so far.
Whose security were/are these spies protecting? Tony Blair? Bill Clinton? Should we care about their safety? Why? These are agents of a security service which is absolutely complicit in killing citizens in Iraq, Sudan, and Kosovo.
If we get in the way of these outfits, they would surely kill us. The secrets they hold protect only themselves. Making public their secrets would strike a huge blow for Justice!
URGENT legal moves were ordered yesterday after an American website published the names of a "large number" of serving MI6 intelligence officers.
Ministry of Defence officials learnt of the new Internet website yesterday morning and immediately contacted Rear Admiral David Pulvercraft, Secretary of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee - the D Notice Committee - to try to prevent publication of any of the names by the British media.
The list of MI6 names and other details about the intelligence service were regarded as a serious security breach.
Admiral Pulvercraft, who has no powers to stop newspapers publishing sensitive material, advised that publication of such details could "put lives at risk". He said that there was concern that the "long list" may have been put on the Internet by a former member of the Secret Intelligence Service.
Last week the Government took out a court injunction in Switzerland against Richard Tomlinson, the former MI6 officer who was sacked from the service and was subsequently sentenced to 12 months in prison for breaching the Official Secrets Act.
The injunction prevented Mr Tomlinson, who now lives in Geneva, from disclosing any information about his past employment by MI6. The injunction covered disclosure anywhere in the world and included information put on the Internet.
The American website makes no mention of Mr Tomlinson, and there is no evidence that he set it up himself.
However, it was clear to Government lawyers that information on the website had come from Mr Tomlinson. The website refers to a disaffected MI6 officer.
John Wadham, his lawyer, said that he had threatened to put such information on the Internet.
He said Mr Tomlinson felt he had been "harassed around the world", and this was why he may have decided to take such action.
Mr Tomlinson has also indicated that he still hoped to publish a book. It was his attempt to sell his MI6 memoirs to an Australian publisher that led to his arrest and trial at the Old Bailey. He pleaded guilty to breaching the Official Secrets Act and was released from jail in April last year.
Although the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, known as "C", currently Richard Dearlove, is formally named by the Government on his appointment, no other members of the service are ever officially identified.
Under Defence Advisory Notice No 6, editors of newspapers are asked to seek advice from the D Notice Secretary before publishing such details "unless they have been widely disclosed or discussed".
Admiral Pulvercraft made clear yesterday that the identities of so many MI6 officers had not been previously disclosed, and he asked that the address of the website should not be published.
Steps were being taken to see how the damage arising from the disclosure of the MI6 names could be minimised.
Admiral Pulvercraft had to decide whether to make an issue of the case, knowing that by doing so he was drawing attention to the fact that a website had been set up.
He said yesterday that even if the website was only short-lived, he felt it was necessary to put out an advisory notice.
A FORMER MI6 officer was remanded in custody for a week yesterday charged with unlawfully disclosing information gained during his three years in the service.
Richard Tomlinson, had provided a publisher in Sydney with the information, in a synopsis for a book on his time with MI6, Bow Street magistrates' court was told.
Tomlinson spoke only to confirm his name. His lawyers successfully applied for reporting restrictions to be lifted for the 35-minute bail application.
Tomlinson, a Cambridge graduate with a first-class degree in aeronautical engineering, joined MI6 in September 1992 and was sacked in August 1995, the court was told. He told his former employer that he planned to write a book about his time as an intelligence officer.
A series of injunctions was obtained, restraining him from publishing the book, Dru Sharpling, acting for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court. She said: "Nevertheless, the defendant continued in this enterprise and there were allegations made in the Sunday Times. A further set of injunctions was obtained."
Tomlinson, who became known as Agent T after the Sunday Times articles, tried to take his case to an industrial tribunal. On advice from MI6 that this might lead to the release of sensitive information, the then Foreign Secretary Douglas, now Lord, Hurd, refused to allow him to do so.
"In February, an agreement was made whereby the defendant indicated that he would no longer be disclosing information," Ms Sharpling said. "Nevertheless, in May of this year it was discovered that he might be intending to write a book, and to give that book to publishers in Australia. Officers of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch were dispatched to Australia to interview a publisher, who was able to give direct evidence of Tomlinson's intention to publish his manuscript."
Opposing bail, Ms Sharpling said Tomlinson had joint British and New Zealand nationality and might leave the country. She said: "He clearly has contacts in Australia and we fear that with this hanging over him it will encourage him to leave the jurisdiction. We really fear that he will continue to endeavour to make his manuscript available."
There was also concern that Tomlinson, who had an "excellent knowledge" of the workings of the Internet, might attempt to publish his memoirs there.
Tomlinson was charged under Section 1 (1) of the Official Secrets Act, which makes it an offence for a former intelligence officer to divulge sensitive information acquired by virtue of that role.
This section of the Act does not require the release of the sensitive information to be damaging to the state.
Seeking bail, Owen Davies, counsel for Tomlinson, said the offence carried a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment. His client, who had no previous conviction, was likely to be in custody a considerable time.
Mr Davies said:"This is a case of a man who has had a disagreement with his employers purely arising out of his employment and its termination. It is not a man who is dangerous to his country."
Ronald Bartle, Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, said the charge was serious. "There is genuine concern that the defendant may leave for Australia, where the injunction obtained in the High Court would no longer be effective," Mr Bartle said. He remanded Tomlinson in custody until Monday.
After the hearing, Tomlinson's solicitor, John Wadham, director of the civil rights group Liberty, said: "My client has a genuine grievance against MI6 which he has never been able to put in an independent tribunal or court. It is what he has been trying to do all along.
"Richard is very distressed that he has been prosecuted, but nevertheless is hopeful that he will be able to use these proceedings to ensure that his case is properly dealt with. He has nothing to hide. "He was sacked. We say inappropriately dismissed. He should obviously have been allowed to complain to an independent tribunal."
A FORMER MI6 officer who threatened to expose the agency's Russian operations at a press conference in Moscow was jailed for 12 months yesterday after admitting handing secret information to an Australian publisher.
Richard Tomlinson, had pleaded guilty to passing a synopsis of a book of his experiences in MI6 that would detail the agency's "tradecraft" and operations and even include agents' names. Tomlinson, who was born in New Zealand but has British nationality, was the first person prosecuted under the 1989 Official Secrets Act.
He wrote a string of often "abusive" letters to senior MI6 officers threatening "exhaustively to expose every detail" of his work including "all my knowledge of Moscow operations", the Old Bailey was told.
Tomlinson, from Milton Keynes, Bucks, who joined MI6 in 1991, soon found himself "all on his own in the middle of theatres where his life was at risk", Owen Davis, for Tomlinson, said. During a posting to Moscow under diplomatic cover, he gathered intelligence to help the West to keep track of the former Soviet Union's nuclear missile armoury.
But the crunch came when he was given a six-month posting to Bosnia, working with the SAS in trying to identify war criminals. At the same time, his girlfriend was found to have cancer. Torn between staying in Britain with her and going to Bosnia, he decided his job came first. His girlfriend died at the same time as he was posted back to London. By now his three-year probation was coming to an end and his superiors had decided that he was too prone to "frolics of his own".
His contract was extended for another six months but at the end of it he was given three months' notice and an offer of help in finding work. "But he did not accept that the service had good reasons for terminating his contract," said Nigel Sweeney, prosecuting.
Tomlinson moved to the Costa del Sol where he set about writing his book, encrypting it on his computer. He repeated his threats to senior MI6 officers. "He claimed to have programmed his computer to decode the books automatically and place them on the Internet if they did not receive a blocking signal every week," said Mr Sweeney.
Faced with his continued threats to publish its secrets, MI6 decided to pay him off and in February he agreed to refrain from making further disclosures in return for a package of financial aid. But within weeks, he was planning to renege on the deal, said Mr Sweeney, sending an Australian publisher a synopsis containing secret information.
On Oct 31, Tomlinson reported a break-in at his home. The investigating police officer was accompanied by Special Branch officers who arrested him. They found another copy of his book on an electronic personal organiser and a computer disk containing a second copy.
A FORMER member of MI6 pleaded guilty yesterday to unlawfully disclosing information gained during his four years as an intelligence officer.
Richard Tomlinson, had provided a publisher in Sydney, Australia, with a synopsis for a book on his time with MI6, Bow Street magistrates' court was told. Tomlinson had threatened to publish the book on the Internet and to hold a press conference in Moscow to highlight his case. He warned MI6 that he was "contemplating the unthinkable step of contacting a foreign power".
When he was arrested in October, amid fears that he was about to travel to Australia to publish the book, a search of his home in Milton Keynes uncovered a number of false passports concealed among his belongings.
Colin Gibbs, prosecuting, said Tomlinson had prepared a seven-page synopsis and a short preface outlining the first part of the proposed book for Transworld Publishers in Sydney. An MI6 analysis of the synopsis found that it had disclosed details of the organisation's "training, operations, sources and methods" damaging to the national interest. But Owen Davies, defending, said nothing disclosed by Mr Tomlinson had damaged the national interest. "There was really no substantial or realistic danger to national security at all."
Tomlinson, a Cambridge graduate with a first-class degree in aeronautical engineering, had joined MI6 in September 1991 and was sacked in August 1995, the court was told. He attempted to take his case to an industrial tribunal but following advice from MI6 that this might lead to the release of sensitive information, Malcolm Rifkind, the then Foreign Secretary, refused permission for him to do so.
At the time, Tomlinson was living in Spain from where he contacted the Sunday Times and co-operated with the newspaper in a number of articles about MI6 activities under the cryptonym "Agent T". The service obtained a High Court order preventing the Sunday Times and Tomlinson's literary agent from publishing any further disclosures.
Tomlinson is the first person to be prosecuted under the 1988 Official Secrets Act and the first MI6 officer to be taken to court under official secrets legislation since the Soviet spy George Blake 36 years ago. He is charged under Section 1 (1) of the 1988 act which makes it an offence for any former intelligence officer to divulge sensitive information acquired by virtue of that role.
He was committed to the Old Bailey for sentencing.
A RENEGADE MI6 agent was believed last night to have posted the identities of a large number of serving British intelligence officers on the Internet in one of the worst security breaches for years.
Richard Tomlinson, a former officer with the Secret Intelligence Service who was jailed on secrecy charges two years ago, is thought to have used an American web site to gain his revenge on his former bosses.
As the Government strove to have the web site closed down, appeals were issued to British newspaper and media outlets not to divulge its address or contents. Publishing such details "could put lives at risk", said Rear Adml David Pulvertaft, the secretary of the defence, press and broadcasting advisory committee that advises the media on national security.
The affair has shown the difficulties that governments face in preventing publication of highly sensitive material in the Internet age. Web sites can be set up in a matter of minutes and can then be read anywhere in the world.
The Government has managed to close two other sites operated by Tomlinson - in Switzerland and California - on which he threatened to publish information he had gathered while at MI6. Last month the Treasury solicitor obtained an injunction against him and he closed down his site in Lausanne rather than risk a violation.
A week later he launched a California-based site, on GeoCities, on which he promised to post a map of all the MI6 offices worldwide. Again, it was closed after an appeal from the Government. At the time of his trial, part of which was held in camera, newspapers were asked not to use photographs of Tomlinson for fear of jeopardising undercover intelligence operations.
Intelligence sources said that the new site contained information that could prove "very damaging". One insider said that it was not all accurate or up to date and nor was it explicitly the work of Tomlinson. "But the suspicions are very strong," he said.
David Shayler, the former MI5 officer whom Britain tried in vain to extradite from France last year, told Channel 4 News: "I know from seeing the site myself that he has been threatening to do this. I think the Government is running a great deal of risk because it has in some ways persecuted Richard Tomlinson."
The investigative journalist Duncan Campbell said that he had been in e-mail contact with Tomlinson, a 37-year-old New Zealander, for three months. A fortnight ago "he said he was going to do this - he wouldn't say where".
Mr Campbell said: "He was getting very angry and he also believed that MI6 had somehow or other planted viruses in his computer to try to destroy it first. I think he is out to do damage because of the way he feels."
Mr Campbell said Tomlinson believed that MI6 was acting to ensure he was thrown out of every country he tried to settle in. He said: "By making an international pariah of him they perhaps have driven him to the wall." Mr Campbell said that other Internet users in the United States were already offering to display Mr Tomlinson's information on their web sites in an attempt to beat what they saw as censorship.
Tomlinson's solicitor, John Wadham, said that he had no direct knowledge about whether his client was involved. But he said that last weekend Tomlinson had claimed: "I will eventually find a web site that will accept me, even if it has to be China."
Some time ago Tomlinson began setting up web pages in which he threatened to publish the synopsis of a book on his MI6 career. It was that synopsis, which he sent to an Australian publisher, that led to his being jailed for a year in 1997, two years after he was sacked by the Secret Service.
He was charged under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act, which forbids any unauthorised disclosure by a serving or former officer of the security and intelligence services. Tomlinson was freed on probation after six months and has been pursued around the world since by a series of Government injunctions.
He joined MI6 in 1991 and served in Bosnia, Russia and the Middle East. He has nursed a grievance since being sacked. He tried to take his case to an industrial tribunal, but was prevented from doing so.
Tomlinson has made a number of unsubstantiated claims, including allegations that MI6 tried to assassinate the Yugoslav leader, Slobodan Milosevic, seven years ago. He has also used the Internet to taunt his former employers.
One web page carried a picture of a man - presumably himself - wearing a Viking-style hat, with the top of his face blotted out. The photograph was superimposed on a picture of the Secret Intelligence Service's headquarters at Vauxhall Cross, London. As the site switched on, the theme to Monty Python's Flying Circus was played, an allusion to the fact that the spectacular Thames-side building is known as "The Circus".
Issuing his warning that he intended to disclose the location of MI6 offices around the world, Tomlinson wrote on the site that MI6's objective was "to steal the secrets of other countries". He said that MI6 officers working abroad often used the "cover" of British diplomats. He said: "If you want to find out who is breaking the laws of your own country, just click on the map below to find your nearest MI6 office!"
DAVID SHAYLER, the former MI5 agent, was facing an uncertain future last night as he celebrated the decision of a French court to reject a request from Britain for his extradition. He is wanted for questioning over an alleged breach of the Official Secrets Act and still faces arrest if he returns to this country.
The Paris court explained its ruling by saying that the alleged offence committed by Shayler was "a political offence under French law". According to European law on extradition and a French law of 1927, it is illegal to extradite someone for a political crime.
The decision, which came as a shock to MI5 and the Government, led to calls for a reform of Britain's secrecy laws to allow so-called "whistle-blowers" a defence against prosecution.
Over the past 18 months, Mr Shayler, 32, has claimed that MI5 was riven with incompetence and that MI6 was involved in a bungled attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader Col Gaddafi. Newspapers are still prevented by a High Court injunction from publishing any disclosures that may be damaging to national security.
There were cries of delight in the Paris courtroom from Mr Shayler's two brothers and his girlfriend, Annie Machon, another former MI5 agent, when the decision to dismiss the case was announced. But it caused "deep disappointment" at MI5's London headquarters, where legal experts believed that the extradition request would succeed.
Under the Official Secrets Act 1989, serving and former agents are forbidden from making unauthorised disclosures. There is no public interest defence and the maximum penalty for a breach is two years in jail. When they join the service, agents are also required to sign a contractual obligation of life-long confidentiality.
After collecting his belongings from La Santé prison in Paris, where he had been held since his arrest in August, Mr Shayler said: "It's a great day for justice and a sad and embarrassing one for the British government and MI5. I'm glad to be out of prison but I shouldn't have had to spend four months in jail for criticising MI5. It is time for the British government to stop persecuting me and start addressing the real issues."
Mr Shayler was arrested in Paris on Aug 1 and had been held in custody pending the outcome of the extradition hearings. His supporters claimed that the request from Britain was "politically motivated".
John Wadham, director of Liberty and Mr Shayler's lawyer, called on the Government to withdraw its attempts to prosecute his client and allow him to return home.
As Mr Shayler celebrated with his family and friends in Paris last night, the Government was still seeking full details of the verdict. A Home Office spokesman said that it was up to the French prosecuting authorities to decide whether to appeal against the ruling and the Government would be keeping in touch with the relevant authorities. MI5 sources were unwilling to comment.
Last month, at a 90-minute hearing in the same Paris court, the French public prosecutor had backed the Government's extradition request, arguing that Mr Shayler could not claim political intent for exposing MI5 secrets. He said Mr Shayler's motive was commercial because a Sunday newspaper had paid the former MI5 officer £20,000 for his story.
Yesterday's appeal hearing before Judge Elisabeth Ponroy was over within seconds. It is now up to the French public prosecutor to appeal against the court's decision, though this is unlikely.
Any appeal would go before the Cour de Cassation, to be judged purely on procedural grounds. It would not be allowed to consider whether Mr Shayler acted from political motivation.
Judicial sources said that an appeal was "improbable" and that, in any case, the Cour de Cassation seldom overrides judgments in extradition cases.
SPIES and others working for the intelligence services should be able to take their grievances to industrial tribunals like other employees, Robin Cook indicated yesterday.
In Parliament's first debate on an Intelligence and Security Committee report, the Foreign Secretary said members of the security services should, "as much as possible, enjoy the same rights as other employees". He said this was not just a question of fairness, but "vital for the security of the agencies themselves that they detect and, where possible, resolve staff dissatisfaction which could lead to disaffection".
Enhanced employment rights for security service workers was one of the recommendations in a report from the all-party Intelligence and Security Committee published last month. The committee, which was set up four years ago, enables MPs to oversee the activities of MI5, MI6 and the communications headquarters at GCHQ.
Under the current rules, ministers have the power to stop security and intelligence service staff taking a case to an industrial tribunal on grounds of national security. But yesterday, Mr Cook said the Government was considering how it might be possible to set up a tribunal mechanism for dealing with "sensitive cases". This could involve a tribunal of specially-vetted members hearing cases in camera.
Tom King, the former Tory Cabinet minister who chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee, insisted that this should not prove an insuperable obstacle. He said: "Surely we can find people who are patriotic and trustworthy enough to be able to hear in secret the things that this committee would be able to hear."
But Michael Howard, the shadow foreign secretary, said he suspected it would "prove necessary to retain the existing power of the Secretary of State to issue a certificate where necessary preventing individuals having access to a tribunal".
Mr Cook's announcement came as he highlighted the dangers posed to national security by disgruntled secret agents. In an apparent reference to David Shayler, the former intelligence officer who faces extradition from France for his whistle-blowing activities, Mr Cook said: "Today, the extravagant rewards that can be gained from an exclusive deal with a newspaper, or from a book publisher, can provide a bigger payout for disloyalty than the KGB ever could."
He said the committee was familiar with the problems caused by "former members of staff who present a cocktail of fact and fiction as a portrait of the work of the services".
Later in the debate, Chris Mullin, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee, suggested that MI6 was operating as a rogue agency without the approval of ministers. He said: "I find it hard to believe that MI6 did not have some sort of hand in the reinstatement of the regime in Sierra Leone which is now busy murdering its enemies. If so, one can't help wondering who authorised it, as it doesn't seem to be Mr Cook." l Smith
Are Britain's covert operatives messing up? Don't even ask (full text of The New York Times report on the Internet)
CLAIMS by a renegade intelligence officer that MI6 was involved in a 1996 plot to kill Col Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, were dismissed by Government officials yesterday as "completely and utterly nutty".
The claims by David Shayler, a junior intelligence officer who was serving on MI5's Libyan desk when the assassination attempt allegedly took place, were published in Wednesday's New York Times.
British newspapers have been prevented by a Government injunction from printing a number of allegations made by Shayler, who has been in hiding in France for the past year.
But Government lawyers say the allegations of the plot are not covered by the injunction because, they claim, they are not true. Shayler, 32, was arrested by French police on Saturday and is being held in a Paris jail pending extradition proceedings aimed at bringing him back to Britain to face a charge of breaching the Official Secrets Act.
The New York Times claimed that MI6 paid an agent with links to Right-wing fundamentalists £100,000 to lead the assassination attempt. It involved placing a bomb under his motorcade but the plot fell apart when the bomb went off under the wrong car, killing several bystanders.
The newspaper said an attack took place in February 1996, although it appears remarkably similar to an alleged attempt to assassinate Gaddafi in September 1995.
Libyan dissidents in London claimed that the September coup attempt was carried out by 45 Libyan army officers, including 20 members of Gaddafi's family.
The initial plan involved the bodyguard responsible for tasting Gaddafi's food placing poison in his regular glass of camel's milk. The idea of placing a bomb under the presidential car was an alternative option, the dissidents said.
One of the members of the alleged plot was arrested for corruption and confessed under torture to what was going on, allowing the Libyan security forces to foil the attempt and execute the 45 plotters.
But the likelihood that MI6 would have backed such a plot, particularly if it was as described by the New York Times, or that, if it had, Shayler would have known about it, appears remote.
DAVID Shayler, the ex-MI5 officer, is being stopped from putting information about his former job on to the Internet.
Government lawyers have already obtained injunctions to prevent disclosures and have written to Mr Shayler's Internet service provider in the United States warning it not to reproduce anything. Mr Shayler came to prominence last year after speaking to a newspaper. He said last week that he was establishing a web site, though nothing has appeared on it.
THE Home Office launched a full investigation yesterday to determine whether a former intelligence officer who disclosed that Peter Mandelson had been the target of an MI5 surveillance operation should be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act.
David Shayler, a former MI5 officer, also claimed that Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, had been a surveillance target of F Branch, the department of the service that monitored subversives during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Mr Shayler, a former Sunday Times journalist, who joined MI5 in 1990 and left five months ago, said the file on Mr Mandelson, minister without portfolio, was reviewed as late as 1992.
"Even in the early 1990s, MI5 was riddled with 'reds under the bed' paranoia and showed little inclination to get to grips with the threats posed to the UK in the post-Cold War world," Mr Shayler told the Mail on Sunday.
"I know that in speaking out I risk prosecution under the Act I signed. Yet I do not feel I am betraying the trust that was placed in me."
A Home Office spokesman said it would be usual practice where secrets had been disclosed to investigate them fully to see if a prosecution should take place. Any investigation would be carried out by the Metropolitan Police Special Branch.
Neither the Home Office nor 10 Downing Street would comment on the allegations that MI5 tapped Mr Mandelson's telephone during the 1970s when he was said to be a member of the Communist Party.
But the bulk of the allegations clearly come from old files relating to the period before the "relaunch" of MI5 that was begun with the naming of Stella Rimington as its first female director-general.
The fact that Harriet Harman, then working for the National Council of Civil Liberties, had her telephone bugged by the Security Service was disclosed by Cathy Massiter, another former MI5 officer, in 1985.
The 1989 Security Service Act, which put MI5 on a legal footing, was largely the result of a decision by the NCCL, now known as Liberty, to take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.
Since the gist of the allegations has been published before, most notably by Ms Massiter, who was not charged, it would be difficult to be confident of mounting a successful prosecution against Mr Shayler.
Where he may be vulnerable, however, not just to public prosecution but also to a private action, is in his claims of an operation against a senior journalist on the Guardian.
He alleges that Victoria Brittain, the paper's deputy foreign editor, became the target of MI5 after it suspected she was involved in an operation to launder money for Libyan-backed terrorists.
The MI5 investigation completely exonerated her. Since Mr Shayler was part of that operation, his account appears to constitute a breach of confidentiality.
Geneva 1201, Switzerland
21 Tabard Street
11 September, 1998
As requested, I enclose a statement detailing MI6's plot to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia in 1992.
When you have read it, lets discuss the best way to proceed.
To whom it may concern:
MI6 1992 proposal to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia
I would like to bring to your attention a proposal by MI6 to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia. My motive in doing this is to draw to your attention the casual and cavalier attitude that many MI6 officers have to British and international law. The officer who wrote this proposal clearly could (and in my view, should) be charged with conspiracy to murder. He will no doubt escape unpunished, like many other MI6 officers who routinely break the law. This lack of legal accountability of MI6 officers needs to be addressed urgently.
From March 1992 until September 1993 I worked in the East European controllerate of MI6 under the staff designation of UKA/7. My role was to carry out natural cover operations (undercover as a businessman or journalist etc) in eastern Europe. The Balkan war was in its early stages at this time, and so my responsibilities were increasingly directed to this arena.
My work thus involved frequent contact with the officer responsible for developing and targeting operations in the Balkans. At the time, this was Nicholas Fishwick, who worked under the staff designation of P4/OPS. We would frequently meet in his office on the 11th floor of Century House to discuss proposed and ongoing operations that I was involved in and, indeed, many other operations which I was not myself involved in.
During one such meeting in the summer of 1992 Nick Fishwick casually mentioned that he was working on a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia. I laughed, and dismissed his claim as an idle boast as I (naively) thought that MI6 would never contemplate such an operation. Fishwick insisted that it was true, and appeared somewhat offended that I did not believe him. However, I still presumed that he was just pulling my leg, and thought nothing more of the incident
A few days later, I called in again to Fishwick's office. After a few moments of conversation, he triumphantly pulled out a document from a file on his desk, tossed it over to me, and suggested I read it. To my astonishment, it was indeed a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia.
The minute was approximately 2 pages long, and had a yellow minute card attached to it which signified that it was an accountable document rather than a draft proposal. It was entitled "The need to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia". In the distribution list in the margin were P4 (Head of Balkan operations, then Maurice Kendwrick-Piercey), SBO1/T (Security officer responsible for eastern European operations, then John Ridd), C/CEE (Controller of east European operations, then Richard Fletcher or possibly Andrew Fulton), MODA/SO (The SAS liaison officer attached to MI6, then Major Glynne Evans), and H/SECT (the private secretary to Sir Colin McColl, then Alan Petty).
The first page of the document was a political "justification" to assassinate President Milosevic. Fishwick's justification was basically that there was evidence that Milosevic was providing arms and support to President Radovan Karadzic in the breakaway republic of Bosnian Serbia.
The remainder of the document proposed three methods to assassinate Milosevic. The first method was to train and equip a Serbian paramilitary opposition group to assassinate Milosevic in Serbia. Fishwick argued that this method would have the advantage of deniability, but the disadvantage that control of the operation would be low and the chances of success unpredictable. The second method was to use the Increment (a small cell of the SAS and SBS which is especially selected and trained to carry out operations exclusively for MI5/MI6) to infiltrate Serbia and attack Milosevic either with a bomb or sniper ambush. Fishwick argued that this would plan would be the most reliable, but would be undeniable if it went wrong. Fishwick's third proposal was to kill Milosevic in a staged car crash, possibly during one of his visits to the ICFY (International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia) in Geneva, Switzerland. Fishwick even provided a suggestion about how this could be done, such as by disorientating Milosevic's chauffeur using a blinding strobe light as the cavalcade passed through one of Geneva's motorway tunnels.
There was no doubt in my mind when I read Fishwick's proposal that he was entirely serious about pursuing his plan. Fishwick was an ambitious and serious officer, who would not frivolise his career by making such a proposal in jest or merely to impress me. However, I heard no more about the progress of this proposal, and did not expect to, as I was not on its distribution list.
I ask you to investigate this matter fully. I believe that legal action should be taken against Fishwick, to show other MI6 officers that they should not assume that they can murder and carry out other illegal acts with impunity.
hoppy 13/05/99 12:49
Okay, I got taken in. As did the media. An american site at: http://jya.com
states that Tomlinson DID NOT PUT any names up at all. The Brits
have exaggerated his small efforts at self-publicity in order to do some
The JYA site states "Richard Tomlinson has written us today that there
was never any names or information on his site that was not public
information, and that HMG is overreacting for public effect to stigmatize
So, what's the truth, why the panic, are we about to launch a groundwar in Kosovo, will Ron Davis get the contract for the new musical about his life, why haven't the Stones retired.. blah blah blah