|Date||October 4, 2002|
Operation Torsion was an RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) operation that led to 'Stormontgate, the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive in October 2002, amid claims of an IRA spy-ring. It would later emerge that a key figure in the alleged spy-ring, Denis Donaldson, was a British agent.
According to the BBC's Brian Rowan, Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid authorised a major surveillance operation against the IRA by the Police Service of Northern Ireland Special Branch, assisted by MI5, in the wake of the Castlereagh break-in.
- The most urgent purpose of the parallel probes is to track down the recipients of the secret documents. It is believed that some materials reached interested parties in the Middle East. Thus far, two such parties have been identified as Palestinian agents based in Cyprus and Lebanon and Greek Cypriot agents who work the region. Both groups have longstanding ties both with the IRA and with Lebanese and Palestinians associated with Iraq and al Qaeda operatives in Lebanon and the Persian Gulf.