It’s a bit ridiculous to compare the two, but if you look at the number of casualties involved, the 9/11 terrorist incident which caused around 2,900 casualties is very roughly comparable in size to The Troubles (with some 3,500 casualties). Of course the troubles consisted of many small incidents over a period of 30-odd years.
During that time, one of the IRA‘s (the “Official IRA”, the “Provisional IRA” and the INLA) principle source of funds were the groups NORAID and Clan na Gael. Which were based in the USA, and raised funds from supporters in the USA.
Or in other words, some US citizens were helping to fund a 9/11.
What’s more anyone who reads the history of the IRA is made very aware that the IRA regarded the US as a safe haven for their “soldiers”.
It’s interesting to contemplate using some the war on terror’s weapons against some US citizens :-
- Extra-ordinary rendition of US citizens to concentration camps excluded from the protection of the law – so they could be tortured.
- Freezing of the assets of some US citizens suspected of helping to fund terrorism.
It is perhaps a useful tool to consider whether certain counter-terrorism tactics are a step too far.