AN AUTHOR who claimed he was once part of an SAS death which executed IRA suspects in Northern Ireland has arrested by the RUC.
The man, who used the alias Paul Bruce to publish The Nemesis File: the true story of an execution squad, was arrested in a dawn raid on his home in England yesterday and flown to Belfast for questioning.
The RUC would confirm only that a man, whom they did not name, had been arrested and was now being questioned "about serious crime".
However his London based publishers, Blake Publishing claimed he had been held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. ,They said police had seized the manuscript of the paperback edition of The Nemesis File which, they say, will contain a new chapter with further revelations about SAS activities in Northern Ireland.
The book is due to go on sale on September 1st.
The original edition, published last autumn, claimed that between 1971 and 1972 his squad executed more than 30 men, all of whom were buried in unmarked, woodland graves.
It claimed to know the exact sites of these graves, that the first victims were unarmed IRA suspects and that latterly the victims were innocent young men picked at random in Catholic areas.
The British Ministry of Defence dismissed the claims, expressing serious doubts" as to whether the author was a former SAS member.
Publisher Mr John Blake said a "campaign of disinformation" had been carried out by the authorities but now they were beginning to accept that the information was true.
"We have always said he would be happy to speak to the RUC. I find it incredible that they now decide to send seven officers to knock on his door in England and arrest him. I think they know the information in the book is true and they may even have found some of the graves", he said.
In the new chapter in the paperback version, a named MI6 officer confirmed that these things did take place and said the author was a hero for telling the truth, Mr Blake said.
According to the publishers, the author was arrested at 5.45 a.m. when the RUC officers called to his flat in the west country. His publisher was informed of the incident by a telephone call from the author's girlfriend.
The book has sold "brilliantly well" in hardback, according to the publisher, and was on the Sunday Times Top to Bestseller List for the first four months of this year.