This week it emerged in the media that links now exist between New IRA and Hizballah. New IRA's plethora of attacks and attempted attacks go under-reported in the British media, although the group seized public attention after murdering journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry last year. Pictured: The scene of Lyra McKee's murder on April 19, 2019 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Intersectionality has become a cynical craze among woke activists determined to promote division and undermine the fabric of Western society. But long before these Johnny-come-lately militants launched their campaigns of disruption, cancelling all who disagree, doing their best to get dissenters fired and tearing down historic statues, other militants were putting their brand of intersectionality into action to kill, maim and destroy the targets of their own hatred.
Sinn Fein's campaign of violence against the British state and the people of Northern Ireland, fronted by the Provisional IRA, lasted 30 years until their comprehensive infiltration by British intelligence, especially the Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch, forced them to lay down their arms under the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
Sinn Fein-IRA's intersectionality included close cooperation with a wide range of fellow terrorists, including the Basque separatist movement, ETA. For many years, Sinn Fein-IRA also colluded with terrorist gangs in the Middle East, themselves masters of intersectionality, sometimes crossing the Shia-Sunni divide as they still do today.
Perhaps the most significant of these unholy alliances involved Colonel Muammar Gadaffi's regime in Libya. Gadaffi helped re-energise IRA terrorism in the mid-1980s by supplying cash and weaponry, including rifles, pistols, machine guns, rocket launchers, surface-to-air missiles, flamethrowers and high explosives. Four massive arms shipments from Libya -- totalling more than 100 tons -- made it through to the IRA strongholds and a fifth was intercepted by the French navy. These bombs and guns were used to murder large numbers of innocent people in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein-IRA also climbed into bed with Palestinian terrorists from the early 1970s, with the Soviet Union acting as go-between. The PLO supplied the IRA with munitions, and both sides exchanged training as well as increasingly sophisticated terror techniques. Palestinian terrorists reportedly trained the bombers and financed the attack in southern Ireland that killed the Queen's cousin, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Louis Mountbatten, in 1979. Cooperation between Palestinians and Irish Republican terrorists went beyond the practical to the ideological. Since its inception in 1905, Sinn Fein has been vehemently anti-Semitic and, now a mainstream political party in the north and south of Ireland, remains strongly and actively hostile to the Jewish state. Even today, in Republican areas of Northern Ireland, Palestinian flags are a common site.
The Iranian terror proxy, Lebanese Hizballah, was a compelling intersectionality partner for Sinn Fein-IRA after its creation by the ayatollahs in Tehran in the early 1980s. Iran reportedly supplied millions of dollars in funding to the Provisional IRA in the 1980s and 1990s. And according to British intelligence, IRA bomb-making technology, passed to Hizballah, was used in attacks that killed British troops in Iraq.
This week it emerged in the media that links now exist between New IRA and Hizballah. New IRA is the largest IRA splinter group, intent on continuing the terrorist campaign. It has carried out significant violence since the Provisional IRA halted terrorist action under the Good Friday Agreement. New IRA's plethora of attacks and attempted attacks go under-reported in the British media, although the group seized public attention after murdering journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry last year.
Highly dangerous though it is, New IRA lacks anything like the potency achieved by the Provisional IRA at its height, and is even more in need of backing from rogue states and terrorist groups outside the UK -- and perhaps jihadist capabilities within the UK itself. New IRA established its credentials by organizing pro-Palestinian extremist and pro-Iran protests in Ireland. Members of New IRA's political front, Saoradh, signed a book of condolences in Tehran's Dublin embassy to honour IRGC Quds Force commander and arch terrorist Qassem Soleimani after he met justice in a US air strike in Baghdad last year.
British and Irish security services now believe New IRA may have imported weapons, including mortars and assault rifles, provided by Hizballah. Hizballah has sleeper cells in Britain and also reportedly stocks of arms and explosives, some of which could be made available to New IRA. The potential for Hizballah-New IRA cooperation goes beyond weapons and technology, with the possibility that New IRA could facilitate Hizballah terrorist attacks in Europe and even infiltrate their own operatives into Israel to strike there on behalf of Hizballah. In both cases, they would be more likely than Hizballah's traditional operatives to evade detection. The alliance of Hizballah and New IRA represents a lethal cocktail, above all threatening the present peace in Northern Ireland.
Enter the European Union. Clutching at straws in the latter stages of Brexit negotiations, the EU claimed that preserving peace in Ireland was one of their primary considerations, demanding that Northern Ireland be treated differently to the rest of the United Kingdom. On this pretext, backing up a southern Irish government terrified of the consequences of Brexit for their own economy, the EU has been pushing to impose a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, to allow unfettered trade between north and south while disrupting trade between Britain and Northern Ireland.
This dispute is one of the major impediments to progress in current negotiations over Britain's future trading arrangements with the EU and has resulted in vicious diplomatic flare-ups in recent days. Many view the Brussels agenda as a weapon to force the UK into line and if not, to punish Britain by fracturing the union. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the EU's plans would "carve up our country" and "destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK".
The reality is, should the EU get its way, contrary to its claims to try and uphold the Good Friday Agreement, its demands would harm future prospects for peace and stability in Northern Ireland by undermining and destabilising the union. This is not the position of the British government alone but also of experts such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Lord David Trimble, previously First Minister of Northern Ireland and architect of the Good Friday Agreement.
Reminiscent of former US President Barack Obama's infamous threat during the Brexit campaign to send Britain to "the back of the queue" on trade with the US, former vice-president and now US Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both, in the last few days, took up the EU cudgel from across the Atlantic. While displaying a complete misunderstanding of the Good Friday Agreement, Pelosi warned that unless Britain submitted to EU border demands, "there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress". Biden followed up with a similar threat, also based on false EU propaganda and apparently aimed at Irish-American voters rather than at any real concern for the peace process in Northern Ireland.
With these menaces, we come full circle back to the intersectionality between Hizballah and the New IRA, in reality the greatest challenge to peace in Northern Ireland. Where does Hizballah get the weapons and explosives it is reportedly providing to the New IRA? Iran. And the EU has been at the forefront of supplying funds to Iran, including cash used for its terrorist proxies across the Middle East and beyond. The EU was an enthusiastic signatory to Obama's flawed nuclear deal, the JCPOA -- never signed by Iran -- which provides a path for Tehran to have unlimited nuclear weapons; and which released previously frozen assets to the ayatollahs. The EU remains an enthusiastic supporter of the deal in the face of approaching Iranian nuclear capability and US opposition. The EU also wants Iran to have unfettered access to munitions, rejecting US attempts in the Security Council to extend UN conventional weapons sanctions, due to expire next month. Not only that, but the EU and several European nations have set up Instex -- a mechanism to defy US sanctions -- enabling trade with Iran by circumventing US banks and reliance on the dollar.
The EU's bungling foreign policy does not proscribe Hizballah in its entirety, mulishly maintaining a fictitious separation between "political" and "military" wings, despite the terrorist group's own insistence that there is no distinction. Meanwhile, Hizballah has attempted large-scale terrorist attacks in Britain, France and Germany, using ammonium nitrate, the chemical that caused such devastation in Beirut last month.
Desperate to preserve a semblance of coherence in the face of the Brexit body-blow it has suffered, the EU falsely claims to uphold peace in Ireland while itself facilitating the greatest threat to that peace. This approach makes the EU an inadvertent intersectional partner to the Iranian terrorist entity and its proxy, Hizballah.
Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander. He was also head of the international terrorism team in the U.K. Cabinet Office and is now a writer and speaker on international and military affairs.