Armed, camouflaged, faces blackened, four-man Brit surveillance team flees this spy nest as they’re uncovered by man walking dog.

Black Mountain rambler stumbles across covert British Army spying operation

A covert British Army spying operation has been blown by a local man, the Andersonstown News can reveal.

The man – who did not wish to be identified – was out walking his dog when he stumbled across the camouflaged surveillance team dug into a vantage point overlooking Hannahstown, Colin Glen and the Upper Glen Road area.

The man stumbled across the spy operation as he walked his dog behind the derelict shell of the former Mourneview Bar at the junction of the Hannahstown Hill and Upper Springfield Road.

The West Belfast resident and his dog stumbled upon four British soldiers who were dug into bushes.

The British surveillance team were huddled on the ground, wearing camouflage netting over their heads and uniforms, and had their faces painted. They were in possession of weapons, high-powered binoculars and communication equipment.

A number of well-known republicans are resident in the Hannahstown and Glen Road area, immediately directly beneath the eyes of the spy team.

In the days following the discovery last week, an upsurge in British Army activity was evident.

Significant movements were observed in the vicinity of the telecommunications centre on the top of Black Mountain, and increased aerial surveillance by British Army helicopters was also observed.

As the Andersonstown News investigated the incident yesterday, two carloads of PSNI officers maintained a five-hour presence on the Hannahstown Hill outside St Joseph’s chapel..

Throughout the course of the past three decades, the Andersonstown News has reported many instances when British forces have used the Black Mountain as a location for mounting electronic and human surveillance on people and locations in West Belfast.

On a number of occasions – notably after the IRA’s 1994 ceasefire – high-resolution remote cameras and long-distance listening devices were uncovered at various points on the mountain.

After at least one such discovery in the 1990s, the British Army set fire to the mountain in a bid to conceal evidence of their activity.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney

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