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IRA + PLO =Terror.
By Rachel Ehrenfeld
ollowing the Israeli incursion into Jenin earlier this year, Paul Collinson, a British explosives expert working with the Red Cross, identified hundreds of explosive devices found there and noted that "the pipe bombs I found in Jenin are exact replicas of ones I found in Northern Ireland." The Daily Telegraph quoted a U.S. government official as saying in response: "If there was clear and convincing evidence that the IRA has been training Palestinians in bomb-making techniques, then we are facing a grave and grievous situation for the IRA — it would surely lead to a reassessment of whether the IRA should be put on the designated list of terrorist organizations with a global reach."
The incident came on the heels of a shooting spree of ten Israelis with a bolt-action rifle, perpetrated by a single sniper who left his rifle behind. This technique was also identified as a Irish Republican Army (IRA) trademark.
But the IRA's connections are not limited to the Middle East or the Palestinians. On April 24, 2001, the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations published the findings of its investigation into IRA activities in Colombia. Their report clearly demonstrated a longstanding connection with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), mentioned at least 15 more IRA terrorists who have been traveling in and out of Colombia since 1998, and estimated that the IRA had received at least $2 million in drug proceeds for training members of FARC.
A more recent report, published in May by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, identified Hezbollah, Hamas, and a number of other Middle Eastern terrorist organizations as active in Colombia and the Triborder Region (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Venezuela).
Last week, President Alvero Uribe declared a state of emergency in Colombia as a result of mortar attack by FARC terrorists during his inauguration. This attack killed 21 people and injured 60 more, and was followed by further attacks resulting in more than 100 people dead. Colombian law-enforcement sources have confirmed that the bombing techniques used by FARC are identical to those used by the Irish Republican Army.
The IRA/FARC connection was first made public on August 11, 2001, following the arrest in Bogota of two IRA explosives and urban-warfare experts and of a representative of Sinn Fein (the IRA's political wing) who was known to be stationed in Cuba and on the payroll of the Cuban Communist party. The three had explosive traces on their clothes and luggage, but claimed they were in Colombia to advise the FARC on their "peace talks" with the government. The false travel documents they carried, however, raised doubts about their peaceful intentions. Since then, the violent attacks of the FARC have escalated, at a cost of hundreds of lives — of civilians as well as military personnel.
President Uribe's decision to rid Colombia of the FARC follows years of attempts by previous governments to appease the narco-terrorists. The "Land for Peace" initiative — handing over almost half the country to the FARC in order to bring them to the negotiating table — was encouraged by both the European Union and the Clinton administration. The EU went as far as to invite FARC terrorists to Europe and send them diplomatic delegations, thus giving them legitimacy and political power. The more the former Colombian government and the Europeans appeased the terrorists, the bolder the terrorists became. Similar appeasement towards Palestinian terrorists groups, including financial aid and "Land for Peace" initiative, by the EU and the Clinton administration, had similar disastrous effect in the Middle East.
The Department of State for many years has designated the FARC as a foreign terrorist organization. Before 9/11, U.S. officials were quoted as calling it "the most dangerous international terrorist group based in the Western Hemisphere." Only in late June — and over French and Swedish objections — did the EU add FARC to its terrorist list, still omitting the second-largest narco-terrorist groups, the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) and Hezbollah.
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. If the EU and the Bush administration would unify their terrorist lists with "global reach" to include all terrorist organizations — including the IRA, Hezbollah, all Palestinian terror organizations, and the ELN — we might then have a better chance to win the war on terrorism.
-- Anonymous, August 21, 2002