IRA Bomb Linked to Gadhafi Regime

Defecting foreign ministers may have been involved in Semtex deal
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2011 1:40 AM CDT
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers secure the area close to where a police officer was killed in a car bomb at his house in Omagh, Northern Ireland.   (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
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(Newser) – An IRA bomb that killed a young police officer in Northern Ireland may be linked to plastic explosives obtained from Moammar Gadhafi's regime, according to investigators. The IRA purchased a large quantity of the explosive, Semtex, from Libya in the 1980s, reports the Telegraph. Former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa, who defected to Britain last month, has been named in US court documents as an official who helped supervise Libya's sale of Semtex to the IRA. “Moussa Koussa was up to his elbows in dealing with the IRA," said a conservative member of Parliament last week. "He has the blood of British soldiers and policemen on his hands.”

The explosion last week at the home of 25-year-old police officer Ronan Kerr in Omagh is believed to be the work of Real IRA splinter group Óglaigh na hÉireann. The group has claimed responsibility for some five similar car bomb attacks in the last two years, which all involved Semtex. Police have not yet definitely determined whether Semtex was used in the most recent bombing, but evidence indicates it was. "If it was then it can only have come from Libya," said an investigator. "The source of this stuff has only ever really been Libya.”

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