It’s been a while since last I blogged on this, but now is as good a time as any to return, seeing as someone (Jason Kirkpatrick, who currently is crowdfunding for the Spied Upon documentary on this very subject) brought to my attention a rather intriguing email.
It purports to be from unmasked cop-spy Mark Kennedy, AKA Mark Stone:
T: 512-744-4087 | F: 512-744-0570
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
Begin forwarded message:
Date: December 12, 2011 10:56:16 AM CST
Subject: [Custom Intelligence Services] Domestic extremism
Mark Kennedy sent a message using the contact form at
Dear Sir, STRATFOR has in the past been a reliable research resource for me in my role as a covert officer for British Special Branch. Now that that role has finished I am looking to channel my expertise regarding domestic extremism and political activism from across Europe and the USA. I have expert knowledge in the use of social media for the purposes of intelligence gathering and have an in depth understanding of the trends and influences of activism on a domestic and international level having infiltrated many groups throughout eight years of international deployment. With your experience in the field of Strategic Forecasting are you able to advise as to how my skills and expertise may now be applied and whether your summer analysts course might be something I should consider?
Mark Kennedy UK +44 7411-286652 US 216-526-1774
The message was sent to Stratfor, the now notorious American ‘global intelligence’ company five million of whose emails were obtained by Anonymous in 2011 and which have subsequently have been released through Wikileaks.
This particular email, from December 2011, seems only to have been released a fortnight ago.
Note how he skims over the details of why his “[covert officer] role has finished”. (Note also how he describes himself as having worked for “British Special Branch” when in fact he was employed by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), which is separate from SB.)
In October 2009 Mark Kennedy was pulled out of his undercover deployment by his bosses. In December he attended an HR meeting where he was (apparently) told he was “only qualified to drive a panda car”.
In January 2010, three things of note happened:
- He handed in his notice to the Met (“handed in his resignation from the police in January, ending work in March”)
- He was approached by private intelligence company Global Open, set up and run by the former Animal Rights National Index (ARNI) Special Branch cop-turned-private sector spymaster Rod Leeming
- He returned to his old activist stomping ground in Nottingham (after having disappeared for around three months) where he bought a canal boat
Exactly what order these three things happened in is not clear, especially as the source for some of it is Kennedy himself – notably from his January 2011 interview with the Mail On Sunday. By the March 2011 Simon Hattenstone interview in the Guardian, he was denying some of the things he previously claimed – though it seems irrefutable that he was working for Global Open after he left the Met. (ETA: As Merrick has noted in the comments below, by his February 2013 appearance in front of Keith Vaz’s Home Affairs Committee, Kennedy was once again acknowledging that he had worked for Global Open.)
In February 2010 Kennedy set up his own company, Tokra Limited. This company was dissolved in August 2010. As the Guardian has noted, it was linked to Global Open via solicitor, Heather Millgate.
In March 2010 Kennedy set up a second company, Black Star High Access Limited. This remains extant.
In November 2011, Kennedy set up a third company, Stanage Consulting Limited. This was only dissolved this summer (2013). It was from an email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) ostensibly connected to this company that Kennedy approached Stratfor in December 2011.
Interestingly, Kennedy conflates much of the above into a single entry on his CV to cover the years since leaving (or preparing to leave) the police:
January 2010 – Present (3 years 11 months)Facilities security consultant. Assessing and managing risks amd threats to facilities, Designing and providing bespoke preventative protocols and proactive measures to mitigate future incidents and training security staff to meet the companies expectations. Current portfolio includes industrial, commercial and leisure facilities in the US and the UK.
By February/March 2012, Kennedy had apparently started work for an American security/intelligence outfit called Densus Group.
March 2012 – Present (1 year 9 months)
Consultant for the Densus Group.The Densus Group provides a range of specialty consultancy and training, primarily on behalf of government institutions and private firms in respect of risk analysis and threat assessment from protest groups and domestic extremism.
As one might expect from anyone’s LinkedIn profile, let alone that of a proven dissembler such as Kennedy, his is full of bluster, hyperbole and provable nonsense:
Provides expert knowledge and skills in the fields of intelligence gathering, investigation, support for litigation and facility threat assessments and the implementation of proactive security protocols.
Facilities security consultant. Assessing and managing the risks and threats to facilities, Designing and providing bespoke, preventative protocols and proactive measures to mitigate ongoing and future incidents.
My current portfolio includes industrial, commercial and leisure facilities in the US and the UK.
I have many years experience in covert operations and deployments, intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination, statement taking, investigations and case preparation, evidential court apperances, surveillance and counter-surveillance skills and the use of technical covert, recording equipment.
I have lectured for law enforcement agencies and services regarding infiltration tactics and covert deployments and have lectured for the private sector regarding risk management, the threat from extremist and protest groups and creating preventative protocols.
My exeperience is drawn from over 20 years as a British Police officer, the last ten of which were spent deployed as a covert operative working within extreme left political and animal rights groups throughout the UK, Europe and the US providing exacting intelligence upon which risk and threat assessment analysis could be made.
That knowledge and experience is now drawn upon to provide expert consultation to the public / private sectors to provide investigative services, deliver informative lectures and training, provide risk and threat assessments to companies, corporations and their staff.
We further offer the discreet service of missing persons investigations on behalf of private, corporate and government clients.
Yet still there was something about him that tickled those boys in Stratfor.
Here’s tactical analyst Sean Noonan flagging up an article in the Guardian about Mark Kennedy’s work:
Very impressive undercover work… He sure looks like a dirty hippy.
This part is most interesting to me:
The documents state that planning meetings for the protest took place at Kennedy’s house and he paid the court fees of another activist arising from a separate demonstration. “It is assumed that the finance for the accommodation, the hire of vehicles and the paying of fines came from police funds,” they state.
So the police funds were used to prepare the sabotage? That is awesomely insidious.
And those admiring emails at Stratfor? They were exchanged in
October January 2011. That’s two eleven months prior to Kennedy’s begging letter.
As Eveline Lubbers, author of Secret Manoeuvres In The Dark – an examination of how state and private sector spy on political activists – notes: