Monday, April 12, 2010

Irish Terror Threat Called "Severe" After MI5 Attack

Irish terrorists are alive, well and still active. Just after midnight (local time) on Sunday, April 11, a bomb exploded right outside of a British intelligence facility in not far from Belfast City Airport.  The Express today quotes a top police official as saying that "The threat from dissident republicans who attacked the MI5 headquarters in Northern Ireland is 'severe'."

Northern Ireland is appointing its first justice minister in 40 years - hours after key powers were transferred from London at midnight on Monday, in a handover clouded by a car bomb blast claimed by dissident militants. Lawmakers voted to appoint David Ford, leader of the cross-community Alliance Party. (Source)

USA Today reports that "The Real IRA splinter group admitted responsibility for forcing a Belfast cabbie to drive the bomb to the gates of Palace Barracks, the high-security home of the anti-terrorist agency MI5 in Northern Ireland. The blast caused little damage to the base or nearby homes, and injured nobody seriously. But it did dramatically underscore the problems facing Northern Ireland's new Justice Department in seeking to build greater support for law and order, particularly in a minority Catholic community that still harbors Irish Republican Army die-hards." 

Terrorists come in a wide variety of flavors. One flavor is distinctly Irish and has been a major problem since well before the current phase of the Islamist wave of terror. To those in the United Kingdom, of course, this is not news. Some Americans, however, may need a reminder of the fact that not all terrorists are Muslims or Arabs.

The Real IRA (RIRA), also known as Óglaigh na hÉireann, is a radical terroritst group that does not acknowledge the peace between Sinn Fein and the British Government brokered in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Michaelin Daugherty writes that the "RIRA split with the Provisional IRA (PIRA), which supported the peace process and decommissioned all of its arms between July and September 2005."

According to The Telegraph UK, "Three terrorists took a taxi driver and his family hostage in north Belfast around 9.50pm, holding him for two hours while they loaded a bomb into his Skoda taxi and then forcing him to drive to the base."  The Telegraph also notes that "The attack came weeks after the first anniversary of the shooting of two soldiers by the Real IRA at the Massereene Barracks in County Antrim. Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21 were shot dead days before they were due to deploy to Afghanistan. Two days later, Constable Stephen Carroll was murdered by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon, Co Armagh. The blast follows a series of attacks by dissidents in Northern Ireland."

Sinn Féin denounces Real IRA bombing of M15 headquarters Guardian UK
Real IRA Claims Barracks Car Bomb Blast (with video) Sky News
Bomb blast coincides with N Ireland milestone‎ Financial Times
Bomb Rattles MI5 Offices in Northern Ireland‎ Wall Street Journal

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