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article imageOp-Ed: British government misleads media about IRA-Taliban link

By Justin King     Dec 2, 2013 in World
After months of laughing off the threat of an Irish Republican Army resurgence the British government has finally agreed that there might be a problem. The British response was swift: mislead the media and link the IRA to the Taliban.
In September, a resurgence of Republican activity occurred. The police laughed off the mortar threat because nobody was hurt. In October, the Chief of MI-5 publicly called the Republican forces “ragged remnants of a bygone age” effectively dismissing and marginalizing them, in essence daring them to act. In November, Republican bombing campaigns reached their highest intensity in years, and security services referred to the attacks as “failed” because nobody was injured. Now with Belfast facing government checkpoints again, the government has switched gears and brought out the most reliable propaganda tool at their disposal: Islamic terrorism.
December 1st, marked the beginning of what will likely become a media storm providing details of IRA links to the Taliban. Articles are filled with phrases like “Taliban-inspired technology.” The ragged and inept organization the Chief of British Intelligence described a couple of months ago is now being described by MP Jim Shannon in a very different way. He said
This is a different level of terrorism. When it comes to the sophistication, when it comes to the technological detail, these are things that have never been seen in Northern Ireland
The thing Shannon finds so troubling is the infrared detonators that were found among an arms seizure in August. The media goes on to describe how this is the same technology being used by the Taliban and by Iraqi insurgents. Therefore, the connection is made; the IRA must be getting support from the Islamic terrorists.
The problem with this theory is that the IRA has been using infrared detonators since the 1990s in Ireland. So, it has been seen there before. Even more disturbing is that it was not some evil Middle Eastern terrorist group that supplied the technology, but Britain’s own security services during a botched sting operation.
A source quoted in the Independent eight years ago in October of 2005 talks about why the security services gave the IRA the very technology they are now claiming came from the Taliban.
The thinking of the security forces was that if they were intimate with the technology, then they could develop counter-measures, thereby staying one step ahead of the IRA, it may seem absurd that the security services were supplying technology to the IRA, but the strategy was sound.
Unfortunately, no one could see back then that this technology would be used to kill British soldiers thousands of miles away in a different war.
While it would be unwise to post the link, an internet search will reveal step by step tutorials on constructing these technologically detailed infrared detonators.
An RPG-7 (rocket propelled grenade).
An RPG-7 (rocket propelled grenade).
Michal Maňas
The next item being used to establish this link is the never before seen rocket launchers. This is also an utter fabrication. The Irish Republican Army has had access to rocket launchers for over forty years. PBS provides a chronology of IRA weapons shipments here. The first known rocket launchers entered Ireland in 1972. By the PBS estimate, the IRA has more than three dozen rocket launchers in Ireland, and one was seized at the beginning of this year. It is doubtful that American public television has better intelligence than the British government, so we must draw the conclusion that this deception was intentional.
Several conclusions can be drawn from these events. First, the Irish Republican Army is most certainly back in action. Second, the British government considers it a grave enough threat to launch this propaganda campaign. Finally, British media will accept a government statement without fact-checking.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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