Revealed: How corporate giants like BA, RBS and Porsche paid intelligence firms to SPY on campaign groups that challenged them – including sending in undercover agents
- British Airways, RBS, Porsche, Npower and Caterpillar have been accused
- Businesses reportedly named in leaked documents as users of intelligence firms
- C2i International and Inkerman Group allegedly paid to spy for them in 2000s
- Protest groups and people targeted including Rachel Corrie, who died in Gaza
Agents were asked to infiltrate protest groups and trail individuals including the family of Rachel Corrie, pictured, who was crushed by a bulldozer in Gaza 14 years ago
Five business giants have today been accused of using specialists to snoop on critics including campaign groups and high-profile protesters who challenged them.
British Airways, Royal Bank of Scotland, Porsche, Npower and Caterpillar have been named in leaked documents as users of intelligence firms.
The businesses reportedly employed C2i International and Inkerman Group to spy for them in the 2000s.
The agents were even asked to infiltrate protest groups and trail individuals including the family of Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by a bulldozer in Gaza 14 years ago, it is alleged.
Npower used Inkerman for ‘intelligence on potential threats or issues’, according to leaked documents seen by the Guardian.
Porsche also hired an intelligence firm nine years ago to find out any ‘information on the timing of upcoming demonstrations’.
RBS are also said to have paid for detailed information about green protesters and BA is said to have asked for Plane Stupid to be infiltrated by a spy.
Plane Stupid has a reputation for stunts where members chain themselves together on runways or even glue themselves to the ground to cause disruption to flights.
The most shocking claims were made about construction vehicle giant Caterpiller who are said to have monitored the family of Rachel Corrie.
BA is said to have asked for Plane Stupid to be infiltrated by a spy. The group is famed for its stunts to disrupt flights and airport traffic (pictured at Heathrow in 2015)
Miss Corrie, from Washington, was 23 when she was killed while forming part of a human shield trying to prevent the destruction of homes in Rafah on the Gaza Strip in 2003.
In 2012 a judge in Haifa, Israel, said her death was an accident that she had brought on herself by entering a closed military zone.
But Rachel’s mother Cindy Corrie, who was in court to hear the verdict with her husband and surviving daughter, maintained the bulldozer driver would have seen her daughter so it could not have been accidental.
Israel’s high court later rejected the family’s appeal.
It is also said to have offered to work for Donald Trump during work on one of his Scottish golf courses (pictured at Turnberry). It is not known if he accepted
Her relatives sued the company alleging that it was complicit in war crimes by exporting bulldozers it manufactured to the Israelis knowing that they would be used to demolish Palestinian homes.
Her mother is said to have spoken about about it with supporters in a 70-minute conference call.
But the Guatrdian claims to have seen a ‘restricted’ document written by C2i that contains a detailed note on what was said on papers containing the Caterpilar logo.
It read: ‘Cindy Corrie gave an update on the court case and the future strategy of campaign was discussed … She gave a detailed chronological account of the legal developments in the case most notably the judges’ decision not to reinstate the case.’
Cindy Corrie told the Guardian today that the spying was ‘really distasteful’.
Catarpillar told the newspaper it won’t ‘discuss specifics of its relationship with suppliers’, adding: ‘Where Caterpillar uses outside firms, the company would expect those firms to act in a lawful manner and in accordance with our values in action.’
Porsche said it was ‘sensible and responsible’ to hire C2i at the time while RBS said it ‘no longer uses these kinds of firms to gather information and has not done so for the last five years’.
Npower said it employed Inkerman ‘to provide us with intelligence on potential threats or issues in the form of weekly reports and ad hoc updates’ but ended this in 2009.
British Airways responded to the Guardian by saying it never ‘detailed matters of security in public’.
C2I are said to have been employed by Royal Bank of Scotland, British Airways and Porsche until around 2008. It was wound up in 2011.
It is also said to have offered to work for Donald Trump during work on one of his Scottish golf courses. It is not known if he accepted.