An one-the-run Royal Navy whistleblower who claims Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent is a “disaster waiting to happen” and could be hijacked by terrorists, says he will hand himself into police on Monday.
Able Seaman William McNeilly, a weapons engineer, is being sought by the military after publishing a dossier of allegations about safety and security breaches on Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines
AB McNeilly said in an 18-page online dossier that Trident was a “disaster waiting to happen” and that even some of his crew mates had shown “clear psychopathic tendencies”.
He is on the run after failing to return from leave on May 11, but has now said he will hand himself in.
The 25-year-old from Belfast also suggested in a Facebook post on Monday that he had spent months planning his actions and gathering information for his allegations.
He said: “I’ve tried my best over the past year, and I’ve finally achieved what I set out to do. I set out to gather as much information as possible, as fast as possible, inform you and the government before getting caught, then hand myself into the police. There’s nothing I can do from prison; whatever happens now is up to you and the government.
“I had to earn fast track promotion and skip a dental operation just to get a patrol as soon as I did. If you want remove the threat, don’t waste time.”
He said he would hand himself in to police on Monday and said he had recently “moved between countries, changed location almost every day, stuck to mainly communicating through the deep web and used multiple aliases when I could”.
He said he was handing himself in because “I lack the resources to remain undetected”.
The Royal Navy has said it “completely disagrees” with what the “subjective and unsubstantiated personal views, made by a very junior sailor”.
AB McNeilly, aged 25, has been in the Navy for two years and recently returned from his first Trident patrol on board HMS Victorious. He was due to return from leave last week and is believed to have left the country in the past few days.
Among pages of allegations, he warned that ID cards were rarely checked at Faslane and bags could easily be taken on board submarines without being searched.
He claimed it was harder to get in to a nightclub.
In his dossier he said: “If any of us were terrorists we would’ve been given the perfect opportunity to send nuclear warheads crashing down on the UK.
“It is just a matter of time before we are infiltrated by a psychopath or a terrorist.”
He claimed contractors at the base, on the Clyde in Scotland, were allowed alongside the submarines without being patted down or their equipment checked.
“All it takes is someone to bring a bomb on board to commit the worst terrorist attack the UK and the world has ever seen.”
The sailor from Belfast said he had no regrets about his disclosures, though he now feared he would be imprisoned.
“Now I have no career, no money, no freedom, no chance of spending quality time with my family and friends, But I also have no regrets. There is no better feeling than truly serving the people.
“Finding this path wasn't hard, given the circumstances it was practically illuminating. I have faith that one day the people with the power to make a difference will understand where I'm coming from, and start working towards creating a better world.”
The future of Trident became an election issue with the SNP demanding the submarines and missiles are moved from Scottish soil.
The Royal Navy said his claims were “subjective and unsubstantiated personal views, made by a very junior sailor, with which the naval service completely disagrees”.
A spokeswoman said “The Royal Navy takes security and nuclear safety extremely seriously and we are fully investigating both the issue of the unauthorised release of this document and its contents.
“The naval service operates its submarine fleet under the most stringent safety regime and submarines do not go to sea unless they are completely safe to do so.”