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Old 13th January 2011, 17:15   #25
rockouthippie's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,002
America has been forced to stop it's support for the IRA
America never had support for the IRA. We were sometimes it's gun store, but that activity was always criminal. Some AR-18 Armalite rifles showed up in IRA hands, but the bulk of these were second hand through Corsican illegal arms dealers. Most IRA weapons came from Libya and were WWII vintage. Some came from the Stasi. A few came from the KGB.

I think the IRA had about as much "support" as money they had to buy weapons. A few Irish Americans supported NORIAD and it seems probable that some of that money funded terrorism. When that became evident, that support dried up too. NORAID was always adamant that the money collected was for humanitarian purposes. That was largely true.

I keep reading how the US supported the IRA, but nobody ever documents it. As near as I can tell, including the diversion of US weapons by Corsican arms dealers, the United States might have been the source of a couple million dollars and a few hundred Armalite rifles for the IRA. More than that were intercepted by UK and American law enforcement. Most of the IRA weapons were of UK manufacture.

I hardly call that institutional support. By the late 70's, NORAID was raising eyebrows. By the 80's the FBI was actively cracking down on illegal arms sales in general.

When the provisional IRA disarmed in 2005, the weaponry destroyed was:

1,000 rifles
3 tonnes of Semtex
20–30 heavy machine guns
7 surface-to-air missiles
7 flame throwers
1,200 detonators
20 rocket-propelled grenade launchers
100 hand guns
100+ grenades.

This isn't a particularly a formidable arsenal considering it took more than 20 years to acquire. Most of this was Libyan weaponry, purchased from and given by (about 5 million USD worth) Muammar al-Gaddafi. His impetus was revenge on the UK government for supporting the US bombing of Tripoli.

Last edited by rockouthippie; 13th January 2011 at 20:03.
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