March 27, 2011

In the fictional The Tuzla Run a passing reference is made to the IRA obtaining weapons in the Balkans. This was not a flight of fancy but a real life event. Admittedly, it was claimed that the Real IRA (RIRA) were involved, that it did not occur until after the period in which the Run is set, but the consignment in question was substantial & included several anti-tank weapons of the RPG-18 category, ASK-47s and explosives. The cache was discovered in Croatia where the RIRA allegedly had decided to buy weapons after Libya and the PLO started to pursue semi international respectability. With the retreat of Communism in the east of Europe other sources also dried up and increased activity by Federal agencies in the States, which did have its limitations in the type of weapon that was obtainable, extended the drought.
The event of civil war in the former Yugoslavia promised a more flourishing market in hardware, with a robust pipeline from the Adriatic coast to Italy. Once into the practically borderless EU there was a clear route back to Eire by road and ferry. It is worth noting that there were claims a former Irish aidworker in the region was under suspicion at the time.

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