Radical Christian Terrorists
Trump’s ever-changing immigration policy now focuses on countries supporting terrorism, but he has yet to name those countries. Several US journalists recently asked if Ireland would be included on the list. Since Trump and the Republicans have never recognized any Christian terrorists as being radical, that is unlikely. While the Ku Klux Klan, Scott Roeder, Timothy McVeigh, Robert Dear and Dylann Roof were all Christian, radical and terrorists, they have never been referred to as Radical Christian Terrorists.
The question itself shows an ignorance of who the IRA were, and a reluctance to acknowledge Americas history with terrorist organizations. We don’t like talking about our support for the Sandinistas and the IRA since 9/11. The Irish government never supported the IRA, indeed the IRA’s own stated agenda called for the overthrow of Irish and British government and create a 32 County Socialist Republic.
We have rewritten the history of the IRA as freedom fighters, not terrorists. The large Irish-American population were the main funders of the IRA, through groups like the Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID). Pandering American politicians are largely responsible the history rewrite to cover up their participation. The IRA were not only terrorists, but international terrorists, with ties to other terrorist groups throughout Europe and the middle east. The IRA received weapons from the Soviet Union during the cold war, from Libya, and from groups in the United States.
IRA Ties to the United States
In August 1985 Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, became the IRA’s chief of staff. On October 23, 1993 an I.R.A. bomb exploded in a fish and chip shop in Belfast, killing 10 and injuring 57. Among the dead was the bomber, Thomas Begley, two girls aged 7 and 13 and four women. Gerry Adams helped carry Begley’s coffin at his funeral a few days after the explosion. Less than a year later, President Clinton overruled his own State Department, and a visa was issued to a terrorist. On Saint Patrick’s Day 1995, President Clinton had lunch with a Gerry Adams at the White House. This followed 20 years of American support for the IRA. Most came from Irish from Irish American and politicians pandering for their votes. New York Rep, Peter King takes a hardline stance on terrorists these days; not so much when it came to the IRA.
In 1975 Congressman Aspin announced a U.S. army report into stolen arms and munitions from US depots. The report confirmed that the IRA had stolen thousands of weapons from the depots between 1971-1974. Weapons continued to flow from America to the IRA. As a result, five charges were brought against five U.S. citizens conspiring to smuggle weapons to the IRA in 1982. They admitted trying to buy the weapons, but he jury bought their story that the CIA had sanctioned the transaction. The CIA denied involvement. One of the accused was Michael Flannery, Director of NORAID. The following year, a U.S. district court in New York convicted three Irishmen and an American for conspiracy to smuggle weapons to the IRA. NORAID funds purchased the guns, explosives and missiles. The men admitted to the charges against them, but again claimed the CIA sanctioned their purchase.
The Irish coastguard seized seven tons of arms off the coast of Kerry, aboard the Marita Ann, in September 1984. The trawler had transferred the arms from the Valhalla, a larger American trawler which had crossed the Atlantic from Boston. Members of the Boston police force helped in this smuggling operation. The FBI’s cooperation with Irish and British authorities, however, resulted in the successful raid.
The IRA narrowly missed killing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984. A bomb exploded in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, where she was staying. The Daily Mirror condemned the US for having done little to curtail American-Irish support of the IRA, saying; “The Brighton bomb may have been planted by an IRA terrorist, but had the fingerprints upon it were American.”
In January 1993, the FBI arrested three suspected IRA men for the robbery of a Brink’s armored-car-depot in Rochester, NY. The robbery netted $7.4 million. The Belfast man involved had spent seven years in prison on weapons charges and membership of the IRA. The FBI only recovered half of the money and suspected the rest was in the hands of the IRA.
IRA Ties to the Soviet Union
On October 17, 1971, Dutch police seized a huge haul of Czech armaments destined for the IRA. At Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, police found 166 crates full of rocket launchers, machine guns, rifles, hand grenades, and munitions. Government papers showed the KGB had been active participants in the transaction.
Working on intelligence supplied from the Israeli Secret Service, authorities seized the Claudia off the coast of Waterford in 1973. The ship contained a large assortment of weapons, including semtex, TNT, rocket launchers, and submachine guns. The KGB, through the Arab terrorist group Al Fatah, supplied the weapons to the IRA.
IRA Ties to European Terrorist Groups
In March, 1974, a spokesman for the Basque ETA, a left-wing separatist terrorist group in Spain, confirmed reports of their links with the IRA, including arms and explosive training.
The case against Italian terrorists who had kidnapped and murdered former Premier of Italy Aldo Moro went to trial in 1980. The prosecutor offered evidence showing links between the Italian terrorist group, the Red Army Faction in West Germany, the Basque separatists in Spain, and the Irish Republic Army in N. Ireland.
IRA Ties to Middle East Terrorist Groups
In 1978 the Irish police and Israeli Embassy in London issued a booklet outlining links between the IRA and PLO. The IRA were training the PLO and other arab groups in training camps in Syria and Libya.
After the US air raid on Libya from British airbases and the Libyan Embassy siege in London in 1984, Qadhafi reiterated earlier threats to arm the IRA in retaliation. In April 1986, British Secretary of State for N. Ireland revealed the Libyans had provided substantial support in arms and cash to the IRA by Libya since 1982. A year later, the French authorities discovered 150 tons of Libyan munitions enroute to the IRA. They seized the Eskund off the coast of Brittany, France. At least four other shipments of semtex, rockets and munitions, found their way to Ireland from Libya before the seizure of the Eskund. When an Abu Nidal led Palestinian terrorist group captured a French boat off the coast of Israel in November 1987, and the Fatah Revolutionary Council proposed swapping the hostages for two senior IRA members being held in France.
December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 came down over Lockerlie, Scotland. The investigation led to two Libyan suspects. The remote-detonation technology used suggested the involvement of the IRA, if not directly, in supplying the technology and training. The IRA had proven links to Libya, and Middle-East terrorists did not have the technology used in the bombing, though it was an area of IRA expertise.
The Provisional IRA were Radical Christian Terrorists
The IRA were freedom fighters in the early part of the last century, but after laws ensuring the civil rights of the Catholic minority in the 1970s, they moved into constitutional politics. The extremists within the IRA split and the Provisional IRA was born. The same ignorance that leads Irish-Americans to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, a dish that no one in Ireland has ever heard of, also stopped them from understanding the transformation of the IRA into radical Christian terrorists.
If you still believe the Provisional IRA were freedom fighters, read the words of John Hume. He was a Catholic, National leaders of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. They also sought a united Ireland, but through peaceful, democratic means. At the 1988 SDLP Annual Conference, speaking of the IRA transformation from freedom fighters and civil rights activists to cold-blooded terrorists, Hume said:
” The vast majority of the major injustices suffered, not only by the Nationalist community, but by the whole community, are the direct consequences of the IRA campaign. If I were to lead a civil rights campaign in N. Ireland today the major target of that campaign would be the IRA. It is they who carry out the greatest infringement on human rights and civil rights whether it is their murders, their executions without trial, their kneecappings and punishment shootings, their bombing of jobs and people.
Who in N. Ireland takes the most human lives in a situation where there is not one single injustice that justifies the taking of a human life? Let the record speak. Up until 1988 2,706 people have died in the 20 years of the current troubles. 37% of these were members of the security forces, 14% were members of paramilitary organizations, and 55% were ordinary civilian men and women from both sides of the community, 69% of whom were from the Catholic community and 31% from the Protestant community. And who killed all those people? The statistics are devastating—62% were killed by the IRA . . . In the past 20 years republicans have killed more than twice as many Catholics as the security forces and in the past ten years they have killed more than the loyalists. Some defender!”