A “counter-terrorism” group has been subpoenaed by Republican staff on the investigative committee of the House of Representatives. The group is associated with the Real IRA, which is legally designated as a terrorist organisation by the UK government.
Who is on the list?
The subpoena sought everything from phone records to bank accounts. But there is no evidence that any action taken by the Real IRA or its followers have caused any harm to the US or its citizens.
How did they become associated with Real IRA?
The Real IRA started in the early 1980s to support the republican cause in Northern Ireland. The IRA carried out a number of attacks, including the killing of two British soldiers and the attack on British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in 1972. The group splintered in late 1998 following a ceasefire agreement after the Good Friday agreement.
In March 2016 the Real IRA announced that it was seeking to end its 20-year ceasefire and launch attacks on the British mainland and its embassies. The group subsequently split into two factions: one seeking to remain loyal to its chief commander and the other said to be led by a former member of the Irish National Liberation Army, a paramilitary group that followed the republican movement in the 1970s and 1980s.
Are they criminals?
The RHI investigation has focused on four administrators of the renewable heat incentive scheme. All four are members of the Irish republican movement. Two administrators’ names were also mentioned in a Supreme Court judgment from a senior official of the Irish republic who was convicted of fraud in relation to the same scheme. The senior official is now serving a two-year prison sentence.
What will be asked of them?
The subpoenas seek phone records, bank account details, emails and social media, as well as those of anyone associated with the group. The subpoenas also require them to make a detailed statement in writing on the amount of social media accounts they have, their passwords, routing, account and ownership information, and copies of their correspondence with credit card companies.
How did the Real IRA’s name come up?
In the wake of the anonymous death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and while thousands of people were protesting in Tahrir Square, the Rev Paul Duffy, a former priest, and a group of other anti-militarist people came to Cairo and began a vigil at an old Jewish synagogue. The group worked with the government to get the historic synagogue reopened and to find a Jewish burial plot for Morsi. The council who presided over Morsi’s funeral ordered his body to be set on fire and smuggled his body into Israel for burial. The speaker of the Egyptian parliament then made an appointment to meet with the RHI managers. The speaker was none other than Anwar Gargash, then undersecretary for economic and social affairs at the UAE ministry of finance.