13 May 2003
Text: U.S. Redesignates Real IRA as Terrorist Organization
(State Dept. cites threat to U.S. nationals, national security) (630)
Citing the activities of the Real IRA (RIRA) as a threat to the
security of U.S. nationals and U.S. national security, the State
Department on May 13 redesignated the group as a foreign terrorist
organization under U.S. law.
A statement by Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker described the RIRA as a
militant group that continues to use terrorism in its campaign to end
British rule in Northern Ireland and bring about the political
incorporation of Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic.
Following is the statement:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
May 13, 2003
Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
REDESIGNATION OF THE REAL IRA AS A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
The U.S. Department of State announces today the redesignation of the
Real IRA (RIRA and other aliases) as a foreign terrorist organization
under United States law. That organization was first designated two
years ago, and designations last for a two-year period.
The Real IRA is a militant group that seeks to end British rule in
Northern Ireland and bring about the political incorporation of
Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland. RIRA has mounted a
campaign of terrorism in an attempt to undermine the Good Friday
Accord, signed on April 10, 1998, by the British and Irish governments
and most political parties in Northern Ireland. Defying the wishes of
the vast majority of people on the island of Ireland, RIRA opposes
compromise with the British government or with the Protestant unionist
majority in Northern Ireland, which favors keeping Northern Ireland in
the United Kingdom. Many of the attacks have coincided with the
implementation of the new steps of the Good Friday Accord.
During the past two years, the Real IRA has continued its terrorist
activities. The Real IRA claimed responsibility for a February 10,
2003, bomb attack on an East Belfast police station and for a March
13, 2003, attempted bombing at a Belfast courthouse. British security
forces have also linked the RIRA to several other attempted bombings.
The group attempted to kill several policemen in July 2002 and killed
a civilian contractor in August 2002 at a territorial army base in
The Real IRA's terrorist activities threaten the security of U.S.
nationals or the national security of the United States, which
includes national defense, foreign relations, and economic interests.
The Real IRA has conducted attacks on a variety of public sites in the
United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, including the London subway, a
facility often used by U.S. tourists. Thousands of U.S. nationals who
visit the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland annually face the risk
of becoming victims of Real IRA attacks in public places.
This redesignation of the Real IRA keeps the current number of foreign
terrorist organizations at 36. Although the Department reviews
designated groups every two years, the Secretary of State is
authorized to make new designations at any time, or to revoke a
designation at any time if the circumstances have changed in such a
manner as to warrant revocation, or if the national security of the
United States warrants a revocation, under the procedures set forth in
the relevant statute.
The effect of the foreign terrorist organization redesignation is that
it remains illegal for U.S. persons or persons subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States knowingly to provide material
support or resources to the Real IRA; requires U.S. financial
institutions to continue to take "blocking action" against Real IRA
funds, and to report those funds to the Department of the Treasury's
Office of Foreign Assets Control; and maintains the inadmissibility to
the United States of Real IRA representatives and certain members.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)