IRA/Al-Qaeda Link?

From the November 2001 Trumpet Print Edition

Though militant Catholicism and militant Islam may seem to make odd, if not impossible, bedfellows, it seems that the common hatred that each holds against the Anglo-American establishment is far stronger than the opposing philosophies of their religions. Reports have surfaced which indicate that the Real Irish Republican Army (ira) terrorists and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network are in collusion.

The prime facilitator in this relationship appears to be the Basque terrorist group eta. Both the Real ira and al-Qaeda have strong connections with eta.

The common currency that links these terror groups is drugs. A Scottish newspaper recently wrote, “Bin Laden’s terrorist organization is known to control massive quantities of opium and raw heroin, while the Real ira is suspected of being heavily involved in drugs trafficking” (The Scotsman, Oct. 17).

The Spanish El Mundo newspaper reported that the Real ira are involved in laundering cash for al-Qaeda. It is rumored that bin Laden’s bagman for Europe recently set up house in Dublin, Ireland.

All of this bodes ill for the U.S. and its coalition against terrorism. It is only time before Britain is targeted by militant Islam for its support of the U.S. war against terrorism. With the Real ira in a position to give Islamic terrorists intelligence on Britain’s soft-spots, the anti-terrorist coalition could soon see the efforts of its leading lights, America and Britain, diverted from their common cause as they are distracted into fighting the war on terror on their home turf.

With three Protestant paramilitary forces ending their spasmodic seven-year cease-fire last month, attacks on Britain’s soil from extremists such as the Real ira could be lent extra and more deadly weight by involvement and support from groups such as al-Qaeda.

“If the Real ira had formed an alliance with al-Qaeda, it would have been in an exemplary position to provide the fanatics with many details—the home addresses of British ministers and politicians, sensitive military sites, potential targets and possibly the use of ira safe houses in mainland Britain” (ibid.).

Already understaffed and spread thinly on the ground, if Britain is forced into deploying troops in Ireland in addition to strengthening security on the mainland, plus continuing its contribution to peace enforcement in the Balkans, this may well detract from its efforts to support the U.S. in any expansion of the coalition efforts to thwart Islamic terrorists in the Middle East and Eurasia.