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Editorial: MI5's anonymous misogynist brute raises deep questions about our secret state

THE case of the unnamed MI5 informer filmed threatening to kill his partner and attacking her with a machete requires more than the independent investigation rightly demanded by Labour.

Coming as the Spycops inquiry hears near-daily testimony from the female victims of our predatory secret state, it raises serious questions about recruitment, training and oversight in the security services.

We already know these questions apply to the police given the Sarah Everard murder and the way her killer, Met officer Wayne Couzens, was known to colleagues as a misogynist and fan of violent pornography, even earning himself the nickname “the rapist,” without this prompting any concern over his suitability for law enforcement.

The BBC is to be commended for fighting to identify this violent spook and, despite the government successfully preventing it from doing so — and potentially placing other women he comes into contact with in danger as a result — for publishing what it can regarding the investigation, again in the face of attempts by the state to keep the whole business under wraps.

That investigation identifies issues which should see MI5 urgently called to account.

If its “covert human intelligence sources” tasked with infiltrating far-right groups themselves share white supremacist ideology, the risk of actual terrorist outrages being perpetrated, perhaps even facilitated by the agent’s MI5 status, is obvious.

We know state agents have acted as agents provocateurs, committing or encouraging criminal acts to provide the authorities with an excuse to crack down on the groups concerned, as when an Animal Liberation Front infiltrator sprung 6,000 mink from a Hampshire fur farm in 1998 (the small predators proceeding to slaughter their way through local ecosystems). 

The potential harm involved if the infiltrated group plans racist violence and the state agent is himself a fascist is greater still. The MI5 agent’s partner states that he “collected weapons.” 

There are echoes here of the scandal that has rocked the German security forces following exposure of a culture of Hitler salutes, secret far-right messaging groups and stockpiling of weaponry by officers.

The MI5 agent in question is continuing “intelligence work” — this time abroad, we are told.

This should ring alarm bells. We have bloody evidence of how little the Secret Service cares about the extremist beliefs of its “agents” when these can be deployed in the short-term tactical interests of the British state.

It became horrifically clear five years ago this weekend, when on May 22 2017 Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb at a pop concert in the Manchester Arena, killing 22 people.

Abedi had been assisted by British security services to travel with his father, a known jihadist, to Libya to fight for the overthrow of Colonel Gadaffi. 

Control orders on Islamist militants were lifted because Islamist terror was now an anti-Gadaffi weapon. Further radicalised and trained in warfare, Abedi then came back to Britain to inflict here the horrors such groups were inflicting with our government’s blessing over there.

Today’s parallels are obvious. Though it has become unfashionable to admit it, the role of neonazi extremists in the Ukrainian armed forces has been well documented since 2014, and security services expressed concern about British fascists travelling to join them as recently as February, on the eve of the Russian invasion.

As British “advisers,” training officers and “volunteers” bed into Ukraine to advance the strategic cause of a Russian defeat, are the likes of this anonymous brute being sent to do so? Will they be deployed alongside the Totenkopf-sporting killers of the Azov Battalion? 

What will they learn to do there, and what will they do with that knowledge if they come back?

MI5 is shrouded in secrecy. But what we do know does not inspire confidence in the organisation’s supervision of its own proxies, consideration of the possible consequences of its choice of agents or concern for their human victims. 

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