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Friday, 5 July, 2002, 20:35 GMT 21:35 UK
Reid gets report on security breach
Castlereagh is the PSNI's Belfast headquarters
Castlereagh is the PSNI's Belfast headquarters
An interim report into the break-in at Belfast's police headquarters has been received by the Secretary of State, John Reid.

The report by Sir John Chilcott is one of two investigations into the incident at the Castlereagh complex on 17 March.

A Special Branch officer was assaulted and documents stolen during the raid in east Belfast.

The former senior civil servant was asked to assess if there had been any damage to national security following the incident.

Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid
John Reid: Has received an interim report on the breach

Dr Reid is not expected to make any comment on the report at this stage.

Senior police sources are still linking the IRA to the break-in.

Last month, detectives investigating the break-in sought the extradition of a man from the United States.

The man police want to question left his job in the kitchens at Castlereagh a number of weeks before the incident.

Threat

Officers from the Metropolitan Police have been brought in to review the police investigation.

The review is expected to last up to three months.

Among the documents taken in the security breach was an index book listing the ranks, names and telephone numbers of Special Branch officers.

However, the information taken did not include their addresses.

Sir John Chilcot is to head review
Sir John Chilcot: Presented an interim report on the break in

Details on other officers not attached to Special Branch were also listed in the book.

Special Branch officers have been briefed and told that the threat assessment following the breach was being upgraded.

Despite denials by Sinn Fein, security sources have said there was no other major line of inquiry than that linking the IRA to the security breach.

However, a republican source told the BBC that the IRA leadership "categorically denied" any involvement in the incident.

Days after the breach, it emerged that the office was only moved to that room from another part of the building a week previously because the complex was being refurbished.

Special Branch deals with intelligence work, some relating to informers, and has an anti-terrorism role in Northern Ireland.

One of the main police centres for the interrogation of terrorist suspects was located at Castlereagh. It closed at the end of 1999.

See also:

07 Jun 02 | N Ireland
07 Apr 02 | N Ireland
06 Apr 02 | N Ireland
03 Apr 02 | N Ireland
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