Wednesday 21 February 2018

A legacy of terror persists beyond politics

IRA tactics have been copied all around the world, says Jim Cusack

Pall bearers carry the coffin of Martin McGuinness through the streets of Co Derry, Northern
Ireland, yesterday. Photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Pall bearers carry the coffin of Martin McGuinness through the streets of Co Derry, Northern Ireland, yesterday. Photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

Martin McGuinness's career as the late 20th century's most inventive and influential terrorist leader will be studied in military colleges around the world long after his contribution to political life in Ireland is forgotten.

Under his direction, the Provisional IRA developed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have been copied and used around the world, most significantly against the US and its allied forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Tactics adopted by the IRA under Mr McGuinness's leadership were originally dubbed 'low intensity warfare' by the British army and are now known as 'asymmetric warfare'. All major armies have adapted to dealing with threats based on the IRA's campaign.

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