Real Irish Republican Army History
The RIRA is a paramilitary, terrorist, and republican organization based in Ireland. It is deemed a terrorist formation by various nation-states, including the US. It was formed in late 1997 when its predecessor, PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) split up following class by sections of its leadership to agree to a ceasefire with the Irish authorities. Michael McKevitt, the then PIRA’s Quartermaster General and another PIRA official, Bernadette Sands-McKevitt, were especially opposed to the ceasefire. Sands-McKevitt, McKevitt, and other PIRA dissidents met in County Meath towards the end of 1997 and formed the RIRA. Initially, the RIRA drew most of its members from pro-republican Irish areas, including South Armagh, Dublin, and Derry. Over the years, it has expanded its membership to other regions within Ireland (Sanders, 2011).
RIRA versus Al-Shabaab: Allies, Primary Beliefs plus Motives
The RIRA has political motives and beliefs while the Al-Shabaab’s motives and beliefs are motivated by its religious persuasions. The RIRA is keen on forcibly establishing a united Ireland through ending the sovereignty that Britain enjoys has over the whole of Northern Ireland. The RIRA believes that a rigid brand of republicanism should superintend over all other socio-political ideologies across Ireland (Sanders, 2011). It remains opposed to all socio-political forms of settlements that do not guarantee Irish unity along with independence.
The Al-Shabaab is keen on fighting the individuals, states, and other parties that they deem anti-Islam. The group is motivated by its persuasion that it is possible to create a Somalia that is exclusively governed by Islamic law. Recently, it has become increasingly clear that the Al-Shabaab may be aiming at establishing an Islamic caliphate across the region generally defined as the Horn of Africa (Hansen, 2013).
The RIRA is allied to other Irish militant groups that are exclusively republican. Its allies, including the RAAD (Republican Action Against Drugs), a Tyrone grouping are smaller compared to it. The Al-Shabaab has international allies according to Sanders (2011). They include Al-Qaeda, the declining ICU (Islamic Courts Union) according to Ali (2008). It is as well allied to the Nigeria-based Boko Haram. It has many non-Somali fighters within its ranks.
RIRA’s Past Actions Along With Terroristic Endeavor s
From 1997, the RIRA has engaged in numerous fights with British troops as well as the Irish police (PSNI). It has fought the police and the troops using bombs, gunfire, rockets, and grenades along with mortars. The RIRA has bombed England, as well as Northern Ireland, severally to disrupt their economies. Among the most notable past attacks linked to the RIRA include the Omagh attack of 1998, and the Massereene Barracks attack of 2009. The organization has previously engaged in vigilante activities against suspected criminal gangs and drug dealers. Its terroristic endeavors remain to forcibly establish a united Ireland through ending the sovereignty that Britain enjoys over it and to make certain that a rigid brand of republicanism should superintend over all other socio-political ideologies across Ireland according to Sanders (2011).
Present Operation Areas, Believed Actions, and Status
Presently, the RIRA is believed to be concentrating its bombing operations in diverse areas within Ireland. The areas include Portadown, Moira, Belleek, and Tyrone. Other areas include Newtownhamilton, Newry, and Banbridge. At times, it hits targets using rockets. Presently, the RIRA is led by an army council having seven members. It has a structured political wing. The latest statistics published by the Irish government show that the RIRA had close to 150 members by mid-2005. Its yearly turnover is estimated to about $50 million, got from smuggling and unlawful fuel businesses according to Sanders (2011). The organization remains extremely active to date.
Anti-RIRA Actions by Intelligence Agencies
The Irish police (PSNI) keep tabs on the membership of the RIRA to continually determine its overall capacity and the level of threat it poses. MI5 identifies and arrests its members often in sting operations to hurt its capacity to acquire, or procure, weaponry. As well, the PSNI identifies and arrests its members regularly. It appears the actions by the PSNI and MI5 have been ineffective in grounding the RIRA’s activities. The group continues to have a rather healthy supply of weapons, including detonators, handguns, grenades, explosives, rifles, and missiles according to Sanders (2011). As noted earlier, the RIRA’s yearly turnover is estimated to about $50 million, which means its potential for growth remains is rather high despite the actions of the PSNI and MI5 against it.