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LINKS between the IRA and the Palestinians go back for more than 30 years.

Early in the Troubles, the IRA leadership forged ties with Palestinian groups and young Provos were sent for terrorist training in The Lebanon.

There, they learned their trade from terrorists who had fought Israelis and Christian militia in the war-torn country.

The Palestinians were happy to pass on their knowledge to anyone who was "fighting imperialism".

The terrorists returning to Northern Ireland became so proficient that they are now in demand by foreign groups.

The Provos and later the Real IRA prized their "engineers" more than any other of their members.

A security source in Northern Ireland said: "When Michael McKevitt formed the Real IRA, he took with them almost all the IRA engineering section."

The dissident Republican movement have links with other terrorist groups and had planned to work with the Tamil Tigers in the past two years.

Their links with foreign groups have become so close that Palestinian flags flags have been seen in Republican areas of Belfast, right.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 15, 2003
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