A former leading figure in the Irish American dissident republican community is in protective custody after it was revealed that he had been working as a double agent for years.
According to Irish and British news accounts, David Rupert, 49, a trucker from Illinois, infiltrated the Real IRA, the republican splinter group opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, gaining access to the group’s inner council. He has reportedly worked for the FBI, British intelligence and the Irish Special Branch. He is expected to be the star witness at the upcoming trial of Mickey McKevitt, a reputed Real IRA leader charged with directing terrorism and widely believed to have orchestrated the Omagh bombing in 1998.
It is believed that Rupert provided British and American authorities with details of financial transactions made through the Irish Freedom Committee in Chicago, which traced where the money was coming from and to whom it was going. Rupert was kicked out of the Chicago IFC a year ago after it was revealed that he had attempted to raise money for other interest groups, a clear violation of NIFC by-laws.
Frank O’Neill, chairman of the Chicago IFC, claimed that Rupert’s involvement in the community was greatly exaggerated, and he described Rupert as “kind of wishy-washy.” ♦