The British spy is accused of being linked to at least 18 murders
Codenamed Stakeknife, the spy was said to be head of the terrorists’s internal security unit while secretly working for the British Army.
The security unit, known as the “Nutting Squad”, reportedly interrogated and executed people who informed the authorities about IRA activities.
Detectives are now investigating allegations that Stakeknife was so valuable to the British, some fellow agents were sacrificed so he could continue as a spy.
In a programme to be broadcast tonight, Panorama says it has found evidence that backs up the claim.
It highlights the murder of father-of-four Joe Fenton, 35, who was shot in the head in Lenadoon, Belfast, in February 1989.
Estate agent Mr Fenton, who provided safe houses for IRA meetings, was a police informer.
Police are heading a £35 million inquiry into the accusations
Ironically, it was reportedly Stakeknife who got him to confess even though they were both secretly working for the British.
What we’re talking about here are almost parallel processes
Barra McGrory, QC
Stakeknife allegedly tipped off his army handlers that Mr Fenton would not survive after a second interrogation.
But no action appears to have been taken to prevent the killing, according to Panorama.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The £35 million police inquiry headed by Bedfordshire Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is investigating former Special Branch detectives and military intelligence officers.
Mr Boutcher told Panorama: “We need to understand what was the rationale and decision making of one person being allowed to die in order potentially – if this was the case – that another person can live.”
The programme claims the deaths of some “Nutting Squad” victims were not investigated properly to protect Stakeknife’s cover.
Northern Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecution Barra McGrory, QC, told Panorama a classified report detailing Stakeknife’s alleged links to murders “made for very disturbing and chilling reading.”
De-classified secrets of Area 51 Thu, March 16, 2017
The United States Air Force facility, known as Area 51 is a remote area in Nevada. Current purpose of the base is unknown, however conspiracy theorists and media have speculated purposes from UFO spacecraft research to analysing the brain activity of an alien.
UIG via Getty Images 1 of 10
Conspiracy theorists believed remains of UFO spacecrafts were stored at Area 51, and that government scientists were researching the remains to engineer the aliens technology
Mr McGrory said: “What we’re talking about here are almost parallel processes.
“We have one in which there’s a police investigation, but all along there is an entirely secret dimension to these events.
Panorama investigates claims some victims' deaths were not investigated fully to protect Stakeknife
“Now that drives a coach and horses through the rule of law. It means that the people who carried out these murders were not properly investigated or brought to justice, so for me that is an appalling vista.”
Stakeknife was publicly unmasked in 2003. He denies being an informer.
Senior IRA leaders who gave orders to Stakeknife are also being investigated by Mr Boutcher’s Operation Kenova inquiry.