- New IRA suspected of procuring weapons during visit to Lebanon
- Hezbollah has fostered ties with terror groups regionally, internationally
LONDON: Hezbollah provided the New IRA with finances and shipments of weapons, according to an undercover agent who infiltrated the Irish terror group.
Former British secret service operative Denis McFadden made the assessment after spying on the New IRA from within for more than 20 years.
Irish and British security services suspect that the New IRA’s links with Iran-backed Hezbollah may have led to the import of arms including mortars and assault rifles.
MI5 agent McFadden is now in witness protection after his work led to the arrest of 10 people in Northern Ireland on terrorism-related charges.
His operation found that Hezbollah and the New IRA opened communications around 2017. Members of the New IRA then traveled to Lebanon in 2018 to meet with Hezbollah representatives, where British security services suspect they procured the weapons.
Saoradh, the political wing of the New IRA, has been a long-time supporter of Iran, Hezbollah’s key international ally and patron.
In the aftermath of the US killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January this year, Saoradh representatives signed a book of condolences at the Iranian Embassy in Dublin.
Hezbollah is known to have fostered relationships with terrorist organizations and criminal groups across the Middle East and further afield.
The Counter Extremism Project notes Hezbollah’s extensive cooperation over the smuggling of “people and contraband” into the US with Mexican drug cartels, and their profiting off the Colombian cocaine trade.
Hezbollah also maintained a relationship with Spanish terror group Eta until it was disbanded.