One wonders if ex Fight Dem Back operative Anarchi$t @ndy has a new crop of brain dead followers reading his State Sponsored blog? Now folks these guys have been around long enough to know the truth. In fact they make a profession from covering up and distorting the truth. Very handy tactic if you wish to push the State agenda and be seen as "radical" at the same time.
Just a gentle reminder. C18 and Searchlight.
COMBAT 18: SEARCHLIGHT BUILD THEM UP
The decision to form this neo-nazi group, in which the numbers (like C88) stand for letters: 1 = A(dolf), 8 = H(itler), was taken after events at a meeting in Kensington (london) in May 1991, when the fascist League of St George meeting was turned over by opponents.  The precise origins of C18 aren't the main point at issue here , but Searchlight's account and role is highly relevant.
Hepple's autobiography put it this way: 'I was witness to the early events in the life of C18 and I reported them back to Searchlight. My and other information led the Searchlight team to set in motion a thorough investigation into every aspect of C18.'  What were the fruits of this 'investigation' ? These were divulged for the first time in the April 1993 issue of Searchlight. , with C18 described as Nazi gangsters, and as 'instigator, the American Nazi Harold Covington.' (p3) The magazine went on to say 'what has become clear in charting the development of this terror group is that for the first time since the mid-1960's British nazis have been able to put together an organization, albeit inspired from abroad, which is able to gather intelligence, analyse it ... and send out thugs and arsonists to act on it.' (p 7 / my emphasis) In their written evidence to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee, submitted in May 1993, Searchlight continued this theme of Covington being the key, adding a fluorish that the 'South African state security services' were possibly involved too, though no real evidence was given. (p3) In December 1993, verbal evidence to the committee by Gable called for MI5 (no less!) to 'take the lead' in the fight against C18. According to close Searchlight associate, journalist Ken Hyder, Gable said 'a shift to MI5 would make sense because ... Combat 18 had links with Northern Irish terrorists like the outlawed Ulster Defence Association.  This was followed up by a keynote editorial in the January 1994 issue of Searchlight, (p2) which had a clarion 'call for the investigation of nazi terror groups either to be put in the hands of a special police unit ... or to be turned over to MI5 or MI6.' This subtle difference of emphasis, in which MI5 were only one of the agencies named can be accounted for by the slightly different audience, Searchlight after all, with considerable success, present their magazine in
some circles as quite 'radical' even a touch 'anti-Establishment'. The cost of running such a blatant errand for MI5 as they did before the Home Affairs Select Committee meant the tension between their dual roles of sometimes pretending to be part of the Left and in reality being creatures of the state had been exposed. Some indication they were aware of this was shown by the subsequent admission that 'this proposal might astonish some of our readers' (p2) It would not have been a shock to readers of my work, for as recently as November I had published a calculated guess that Searchlight's written evidence to the Committee (not yet seen) was consistent with 'an MI5 sponsored agenda' and would 'regale the Select Committee with the latest briefing from Ms Rimington' (then Director General of MI5)  At War With The Truth was published at a very embarrassing time indeed for the team and their sponsors, and its distribution to all Committee members will not have helped much (despite Sir Ivan Lawrence's efforts) The final report of the Committee took specific issue with Searchlight's criticism of Special Branch / the police generally, and call for MI5 to exclusively take over monitoring the far right. They urged 'the police, Special Branch and the Security Service to continue to monitor extreme right wing groups 
The argument about C18 from Searchlight up to this time was quite clear, almost consistent. It was portrayed as a group of Nazi thugs, acting autonomously, who had nonetheless been inspired by US Nazi Covington (definitely) and South African Intelligence (perhaps) Their activities were worrying because of links with Ulster Loyalists. Special Branch, with whom Searchlight worked closely in the 1970's when the key inter-agency rivalry was MI5 versus MI6, had by now entered into a 'turf war' themselves with MI5. This reached something of a crescendo with the April 1992 achievement by MI5 of wresting primacy in Loyalist and Republican 'terrorist' matters from Special Branch. In this situation, twilight operators like Searchlight were faced with something of a choice to make as to which side to back in this new inter-agency conflict. Gable and his team unambiguously chose MI5, hence his attack on London Special Branch (the largest and most powerful) who had allegedly 'failed to comprehend the dangerous nature of groups like C18 here and abroad.' 
A CONTRASTING VIEW OF COMBAT 18
My contemporary reading of the internal situation in C18 was radically different to Searchlight's. Way back in April 1993, I wrote that MI5 was seeking to operationally influence C18  and as already stated predicted in October 1993 before seeing Searchlight's written parliamentary evidence that they would seek to justfy and
facilitate this.  A more detailed treatment published in 'Turning Up The Heat: MI5 After The Cold War' (hereafter TUTH)  developed the argument. I outlined allegations Covington was an FBI asset, something never mentioned by Searchlight until after my publicising that possibility  I also drew a distinction between 'Mark I' C18, most of whom I take to be genuine 'Nazi thugs', and 'Mark II' state assets. It was (and is) my contention that the gameplan of MI5 involves supplanting this leadership by Mark II controlled assets, in order to 'turn it in practice (as opposed to rhetoric)' in a 'terrorist direction'.  As intimated above, I viewed Searchlight's call for MI5 to 'investigate' C18 as an errand run on MI5's behalf, aimed at job creation for the agency and legitimation of illegal activity already in progress. When, in March 1995, Searchlight printed my illegally taken photograph, work and home details, as the culmination of a set of linked lies implying I (a Catholic) was setting up meetings for the purpose of drug deals between C18 and Ulster Loyalists, I was rather perturbed.  I sezed the opportunity to attend a meeting addressed by number 2 in the Searchlight 'team', office manager Tony Robson, and put these points forcefully to him. He had no satisfactory reply, and was still peddling the line that 'we have called for MI5 to take over surveillance of extreme right wing groups because that is what they should have been doing all along.' 
COMBAT 18 REVISITED:
SEARCHLIGHT CHANGE THEIR TUNE
A few days after I confronted Robson, the April 1995 issue of Searchlight went to print, and its contents included a dizzying somersault. It was now announced that MI5 had in fact set up C18 as a 'honey trap' in order to 'know the extent of ... joint operations' between fascists and Ulster Loyalist paramilitaries. This claim has been repeated subsequently, and is still Searchlight's position.  In the context of Searchlight's history, and the line they propagated enthusiastically up to this point, their C18 coverage is plainly a disinformation project on behalf of MI5. Disinformation is not to be confused with complete fiction, and many of the published names, photographs and even addresses of C18 are genuine. All this does not negate the fact that when it mattered, Searchlight were begging for MI5 to 'investigate' the very group they would now have us believe was set up in the first place by .... MI5! Searchlight have never even referred to this inconsistency, much less explained it. Both their line pre-April
1995, and the change subsequently, are emineny understandable when viewed as a task undertaken, indeed the two diametrically opposed positions don't make much sense any other way. Unless you accept the hypothesis that all Searchlight's analysis of both fascists and the state is largely fiction. My research published in Lobster and elsewhere of what fascists actually get up to would certainly point to that being likely. However it is not all fiction, and it is the area of overlap between Searchlight's coverage, reality and the state that concerns us most here. The current Searchlight justification for MI5 setting up C18 puts in perspective Gable's 1993 comments cited above that their links with Loyalist paramilitaries necessitated MI5 investigation; clearly taken from the same page of the script. In July 1996 Searchlight claimed that 'since the embarrassment C18 nazis caused in Dublin at the Ireland v England football match in February last year, the word is that the state has been looking hard for a good reason to dump them (p5). Using Searchlight's logic (not mine) a reason for their change of tune on MI5 and C18 in the April 1995 issue is thereby suggested. Given the Dublin riot (for which C18 were given unjustified credit both by themselves and others occurred on the night of February 15th 1995, and Searchlight were inundated by over 200 media enquiries concerning the matter, it would have been too late for them to make significant alteration to the March issue, then just going to print. Therefore, the earliest possible issue in which Searchlight could have reflected faithfully any change in secret state policy over the C18 was the very issue which did see such a change: April 1995! Using their own reasoning and public domain evidence therefore, would it not be consistent to see this abrupt change of line by Searchlight as yet another indication of them conforming with alacrity to MI5's agenda?
If you believe, as I do, that MI5 didn't set up C18, then what strategic purposes did the Searchlight change of line serve over and above obeying orders? One aim would have been to preserve Searchlight's 'leftist' credentials: my continually calling them to account for MI5-friendly activities was increasingly worrying for them, as hinted at above  To superficially (and uniquely) criticise MI5 helped Searchlight to regain some lost ground. If more Left / Greens become as fully aware of Searchlight's real purposes as open-minded readers of my research do, then their ability to spy on, lie to and manipulate the Left / Greens will be severely diminished. In this circumstance, the secret state would certainly look elsewhere to other conduits, a prospect that fills Gable and his cohorts with great fear. The second strategic purpose served by Searchlight announcing MI5 set up C18 is to facilitate the very take-over of C18 by Mark II state assets that I have long surmised has been their intention. An apparant throwaway remark in a recent Searchlight gave the game away, conjecturing about a scenario whereby 'a new leadership, not under or influences of the state security services, emerges in the NSA, as appears to be happening.' (NSA stands for 'National Socialist Alliance' another name for C18)  If key figures in the Mark I C18 leadership go to prison for various offences: as is a distinct possibility given certain trials pending, the way will then be clear for Mark II personnel to take over. Should
the accused avoid jail, the idea is to imply this will have been due to them being state agents from the start, and hasten their being pushed aside anyway.  Either way the secret state is supposed to win: and for anti-fascists that means being on the receiving end of more state-sponsored violence of a potentially fatal nature. The third strategic purpose behind Searchlight alleging MI5 set up C18 is to cover the whole MI5 operation concerning neo-nazis in a thick fog of disinformation, the better to enable state operatives to escape unscathed and operations to remain undetected.