Reinforce the Ring of Steel! Deploy the SAS on the streets! Wrap Big Ben in cotton wool! The breakaway factions of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army have “…more than a tonne of Semtex explosive“. At least that’s according to a terribly anxious report in the Daily Telegraph, a right-wing British newspaper once regarded as the voice of the English establishment. The furious “Torygraph” notes that:
“Dissident republican terrorists are boasting they have more than a tonne of Semtex plastic explosive that escaped the decommissioning process…
Provisional IRA veterans who disagreed with the peace process, and who have expertise in handling Semtex, are among those who have access to the secret weapons dumps.
They claim to have tested it and confirmed it is still viable, even though it was smuggled to Ireland via Libya in the 1980s.
Recent raids by police in Northern Ireland have turned up small quantities of Semtex, but a source has told the Telegraph that purpose-built bunkers dotted across the island contain up to 1.5 tonnes of it.”
Hmmm… Would that be part of the substantial quantities of Czech-made Semtex-H explosive purchased by Libya between 1975 and 1981? Some 2.5 tonnes of it was sold to the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army and smuggled into Ireland from 1985 to ’86. After sustained use in various improvised weapons and “booster-packs” for larger fertilizer-based bombs nearly two tonnes of it was left in IRA stockpiles when the insurgent movement declared its final ceasefire in 1997. In 2005 the remaining quantities of Semtex-H were withdrawn from bunkers around the country by the IRA’s Quartermaster General and “decommissioned” between July and September of that year, in co-operation with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). The IICD’s observers agreed that the quantity of Semtex-H put “beyond use” in their presence was the expected two tonnes.
Which makes one wonder where on earth did the Semtex-H explosives supposedly in the hands of some unidentified “Dissident” grouping come from? Because there is widespread agreement that the Irish Republican Army honoured its commitments in the final stages of the peace process and rendered inaccessible all of the plastic explosives in its possession. Does anyone really believe that 75% of the IRA’s Semtex stores magically “escaped” decommissioning in 2005 and that the IICD, and the governments in Dublin, London and Washington, not to mention the movement’s own Army Council and GHQ Staff, never noticed? Are we to accept anonymous claims that one of the three organisations making up the would-be Irish resistance of the 2000s, whose activists number in the dozens, has explosive munitions equal to that of the several hundred strong (Provisional) Irish Republican Army at the height of its military campaign against the British Occupation Forces?
Of course one could also point out that the effective shelf-life of Semtex-H manufatured in the 1970s is ten to twenty years; if the packages were stored under optimal conditions. Thereafter it rapidly losses its effectiveness. Any Semtex received from Libya in 1986 is now thirty years old. In fact since most of the explosives were purchased by the Libyans from the Czechs long before they reached Ireland any former IRA quantities would now be as much as four decades old. For most of that time they would have been hidden in sealed, plastic drums buried in the more rain-swept parts of the Irish countryside. Good luck with detonating those damp squibs!
The whole report is clearly a nonsense, as are the words of an alleged “republican” source:
“There will be ops on the mainland, specific targets, the aim will be to make the Brits rethink their whole position as to what Sinn Fein is actually in a position to deliver, namely they can’t deliver peace.”
Yes, because the people of this island nation, especially Irish republicans, normally refer to the island nation to our east as the “mainland”.
What a crock of spurious shit we leave when first we practice to squeeze-squeeze-squeeze!