Paul Beaver is a veteran British defence journalist and member of the ultra-conservative Henry Jackson Society who has been regularly sought out by the international news media for his analyses of various conflicts around the world, notably the 1966-2005 Long War in the north-east of Ireland. Here he is speaking to the German newspaper Deutsche Welle (DW) on the now infamous Islamic State propaganda-frontman Mohammed Emwazi or “Jihadi John”:
“DW: Emails from Emwazi indicate that he may have become radicalized after being detained by authorities in Britain at an airport, having been accused of having links to terrorist organizations. Is there any risk that counter-intelligence operations in the West might be playing a role in the radicalization of individuals?
Paul Beaver: This is such rubbish. This is an excuse. In 20 years of fighting PIRA… and Real IRA operatives, not one to my recollection, ever said they had been radicalized as an Irish nationalist terrorist through the activities of the security services.”
Which of course is complete and utter nonsense. A significant minority in at least two generations of Irish people were “radicalised” by the actions of the British paramilitary and military forces in Ireland during the late 1960s and ’70s, and well into the 1980s and ’90s. Only someone with the most wilful ignorance of recent European history could argue otherwise. Or someone acting as little more than a propagandist mirror-image of “Jihadi John”.