A Dungiven man claims he’s been approached by MI5 six times in the past two years and asked to work as an informant.
The 52-years-old, who spoke exclusively to the ‘Journal’, said the same two officers from the British security service made the approaches while he was on holiday in Spain.
The man, who doesn’t wish to be identified, said: “They think I’m a terrorist and I deny that.”
Over the past two years, he claimed the two officers had asked him repeatedly to work for MI5.
“They’ve said, ‘name your price’ or ‘we’ll buy you a villa.’
“It’s like something out of a movie; it’s something I could do without. They’re like ghosts. They disappear as soon as they appear.
“They’ve come up behind me on the street, or when I was walking to the beach. It’s always when I’ve been without my wife; when I’m on my own, so they must have been watching my apartment.
“They identify themselves as MI5 officers and they’re able to tell me when I was last in Spain. They ask me if I had information on senior republicans in Derry and would say ‘you’re close to them. I’ve told them they’re following the wrong guy, but they keep going.”
The man said the most recent approach was made just before the New Year in Spain. He was arrested by Spanish police twice inside six days - at the airport on arrival and during his stay. He was told that, based on British intelligence, he was a threat to the country and he could be removed from Spain.
After the second arrest, the same two MI5 officers appeared and questioned him. Again, he claimed, they asked if he would work for them.
They also quizzed him about his thoughts on Sinn Fein and if he supported the vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs and they asked him about the North Derry Republican Group.
“They asked again if I would work for them and, if I did, it would all go away. I said ‘definitely not.”
The man said that, despite the arrests and raids on his home, he has not been charged with any crime.
“MI5 seem to know all about me. I don’t come into Dungiven much, but MI5 know when I do,” he noted. “I can handle it, but what’s not fair is when they target people who go about their daily business that I associate with. I don’t like that. That annoys me a lot.”
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Home Office said they would not deny nor confirm either way.