As documented by Mia Bloom and John Horgan in the journal Social Research, Irish terrorists pioneered the use of “proxy bombs,” vehicle-born explosives operated by drivers who have been “coerced into participating.” FARC mortars and booby-traps, Bloom and Horgan explain, are “similar” or “identical to those used by IRA Active Service Units in Northern Ireland[.]”
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, “proxy bomb techniques perfected in Ireland have spread to the Taliban.” Writing in Ireland’s Sunday Independent, Jim Cusack reported in 2007 that NATO has called in a senior Irish Army Ordnance Corps officer to train coalition forces in dealing with terrorist bomb tactics “perfected in Ireland by IRA engineers and electronics experts.” IRA bombing techniques, reports Cusack, have also been “passed on to Hezbollah who used it against the Israeli Defense Forces during the 1980s and 1990s.”
As the Daily Record declared in 2003, IRA-Palestinian links “go back for more than 30 years,” with Irish terrorists trained in Lebanon “so proficient that they are now in demand by foreign groups.” Then as now, “engineers” trained in bombing were prized above all. The Real IRA, the Record reports, recruited “almost all the IRA engineering section.” Links with Muslim terror organizations “have become so close,” the report continues, “that Palestinian flags have been seen in Republican areas of Belfast” in Ireland.
IRA terrorists conducting proxy bombings, Bloom and Horgan note, failed to anticipate the intense backlash among fellow Catholics who learned of the heinous practice. But in a case of global terror coming full circle, the Belfast Newsletter reported last year that a defector from the Real IRA has claimed that the organization is “teaming up with Islamic terrorists” to “launch a fresh terror campaign” on British soil. “We were going to use the Muslims,” he said, “and they were going to use us.” From Islamic terror groups, the defector revealed, the Real IRA had already learned to abandon mobile phones and leave messages in draft emails shared through a common account. In 2007, Cusack revealed in another report, the U.S. government urged Ireland to deny top Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Mussawi entry to the country at the invitation of the Irish Anti-War Movement
If the FBI sting targeting Mick Kelly, Hatem Abudayyeh, and associates is any indication, federal investigators suspect that the latticework of relationships linking Irish, Muslim, and Colombian terrorists reaches into American left-wing activist communities as well. With the Kelly and Abudayyeh raids timed so close to top-level British moves against a resurgent Irish terror threat, a fuller picture of America’s homegrown foes may be soon to emerge.