Agent carried out reconaissance on home
BRIAN NELSON:Sir Desmond de Silva found that the agent Brian Nelson “extensively updated and disseminated targeting material to other loyalist paramilitaries” which they subsequently used in their efforts to carry out terrorist attacks.
“My overall assessment of Nelson is that he was motivated by a desire to see what he perceived to be ‘legitimate’ republican targets killed, and that his actions materially increased the targeting capacity of the UDA [Ulster Defence Association] and thereby furthered their murderous objectives,” the report states.
Sir Desmond says that, in being tasked by the British army’s Force Research Unit (FRU) to target “PIRA activists” for the UDA, Nelson would, “to all intents and purposes, properly be considered to be acting in a position equivalent to an employee of the Ministry of Defence”.
“Nelson’s case provides perhaps the most striking illustration of the failures evident in the handling of some agents in Northern Ireland at the time,” he says. “I am satisfied that Brian Nelson’s desire to see republicans attacked was clearly apparent to the FRU throughout this period.”
Sir Desmond said it was likely that Nelson produced information about Mr Finucane which might have been disseminated to other loyalist paramilitaries, and that he carried out a reconnaissance mission on the Finucanes’ home and passed on a picture of Mr Finucane shortly before his murder.
The report highlights failings in a number of state agencies in relation to Nelson.