The Irish Republican Army has announced it will lay down its arms and press forward with devolution – the political process of obtaining local governing rights within the United Kingdom. The timing of the IRA decision is curious, and one cannot help think the London attacks played some part in the decision by the IRA to end their thirty year campaign of terror.
Armed Liberal posits “the political cost of terrorism just went up” , that there is less tolerance to acts of terrorism among the traditional financial support in the American Northeast since 9/11, and particularly in London since to 7/7 and the [failed] 7/21 bombings of the subway system. He explains how liberal Londoners are more than willing to put aside political correctness and civil liberties to root out the terrorists:
[T]he bombings have made them quite willing to see the Muslim community in the U.K. placed under close watch; the radical imams deported or jailed, their anti-Western mosques closed, and their disaffected young followers deported – or jailed. Political correctness? Fuggedabout it. Civil rights? “What about the civil rights of the victims?” they reply.
Another possible motivation for the IRA is the increased scrutiny that all terrorist operations will come under in the wake of the attacks on London. The investigation is intensifying, with four of the suspects in the failed 7/21 attacks arrested and the suspected mastermind detained in Zambia.
The global nature of terrorism ensures that at some point new connections between al Qaeda and the IRA will be uncovered, potentially unleashing a political firestorm for the IRA. Rachel Ehrenfeld documents the IRA’s long and varied hooks into the international terrorist community. These groups inevitably share training, logistics, knowledge and contacts to further their goals, despite their ideologies.
Students of terrorism can easily trace the IRA’s connections to the PLO and its numerous factions back to the 1970s and 1980s, when IRA and PLO operatives trained together in Libya and the Bekaa Valley. Today, IRA involvement is ongoing in Colombia, where al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad factions – to name a few – are engaged in illegal arms and drug trafficking and money-laundering. Recent revelations about al Qaeda training methods has been also identified as carrying some of the IRA’s trademarks.
There have been no connections between the London attacks and the IRA, but enough digging by British police could turn up some unpleasant information. This can now be mitigated by the IRA’s renouncement of terrorism.
It appears the IRA was an unintended casualty of al Qaeda’s quest for blood, removing a deadly organization from the terrorist mix. If they keep their word, that is.
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