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BlackEagle/BlackEagle Logistics & Procurement Branch, Data Support Section
Results of Criminal Organizations Database Search: Ulster Defense Association
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Ulster Defense Association #CR0001103 (Also... Some alternate names are aliases, other are names for specific subgroups or cells). UDA Source: MI-5, Interpol Type: Political terrorist organization Scope: Terrorist actions against the IRA, and their supporters throughout Northern Ireland. [MI-5] Affiliations: The UDA has no links to terrorist organizations outside of the U.K. [MI-5] Personnel: The membership of the UDA has been estimated in the range of 40,000 to 60,000. Operating Since: 1971 Structure: Tightly controlled military hierarchy, organized into companies, corps and battalions. Leaders: Andy Tyrie [#LL5721934], leader Legitimate Connections: The UDA is affiliated with the Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party and the New Ulster Political Research Group. Resources: Smallarms, and military equipment. Excellent intelligence and moderate training facilities. Excellent funding. Suspected Criminal Activity: Beginning in mid-1980 and lasting into 1981 an assassination campaign was waged against republicans and nationalists in the north. John Turnley, a nationalist member of the Westminster parliament who had unseated the ultra-unionist Ian Paisley in 1979, was shot dead in June 1980. On 16 January 1981, a republican, the former member of the Westminster parliament, Bernadette Devlin McAlisky, and her husband were wounded by gunmen in their home. Later UDA men were convicted of the Turnley murder and attempted murders of the McAliskys. Three other nationalists were also killed this way, suggesting that the UDA was behind the wave of killings. IRA supporters believed that the UDA had to have enjoyed the cover of British army patrols to have been able to penetrate the largely Catholic areas in which these murders took place. Additional Commentary: The UDA is a northern Irish Protestant militia founded in September 1971, committed to maintaining Protestant supremacy in the political and social life of northern Ireland, while its ostensible purpose is to protect Protestant neighborhoods from IRA [#CR0000632] attacks. Most of its numbers and resources, in fact, are devoted to defending Protestant neighborhoods, but it is widely believed to support death squad activities involving smaller, specialized units that often assume their own names and maintain their independence from the UDA, such is believed to be the case with the Ulster Freedom Fighters [#CR]. The relationship with the British Army is problematic, since from September to October 1972 they had considered the British Army to be in league with their Catholic enemies. Since then, it has maintained a truce with British forces and acts, in effect, as an ally. This may explain why the UDA alone maintains its legal status of all Northern Irish paramilitary groups. Proscription available under the Special Powers Act of 1922 has not been sought because British security forces must rely on the UDA for auxiliary support. The UDA leader, Andy Tyrie, explained the UDA mission as follows: "We're a counterterrorist organization. The only way we'll get peace here is to terrorize the terrorists." The UDA finances itself partly through protection rackets, the same way the Provisional IRA finances itself. During the pro-unionist Ulster Workers' Council general strike in 1974, directed against a British-sponsored plan to share power in Ulster with Catholics, the UDA openly joined ranks with proscribed death squads, and illegal militias, to form an Ulster Army Council to enforce the general strike.