February 8, 2009
A secret police intelligence unit has been set up to spy on Left-wing and Right-wing political groups.
The Confidential Intelligence Unit (CIU) has the power to operate across the UK and will mount surveillance and run informers on â€˜domestic extremistsâ€™.
Its job is to build up a detailed picture of radical campaigners.
Targets will include environmental groups involved in direct action such as Plane Stupid, whose supporters invaded the runway at Stansted Airport in December.
The unit also aims to identify the ring-leaders behind violent demonstrations such as the recent anti-Israel protests in London, and to infiltrate neo-Nazi groups, animal liberation groups and organisations behind unlawful industrial action such as secondary picketing.