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Libya's £35m plan for IRA to murder Margaret Thatcher

By Cate McCurry

A Senior Libyan official wanted to give the IRA more than £35m to murder then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, newly-released state papers have revealed.

An Irish Government paper shows that one of their ambassadors made an "urgent visit" to Tripoli to express their "grave concerns" about a possible renewal of support by the Libyan government for the IRA.

The documents, which were released under the 30-year rule for the publication of Irish state material, show that the country's ambassador to Rome, Eamon Kennedy made the trip in June 1986 where he met Saad Muzber, chief of protocol to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Kennedy was ordered by Minister for Foreign Affairs Peter Barry to tell the authorities in Libya that "the IRA is the enemy of the Irish State" and such support was "unacceptable".

The ambassador claimed that Muzber was "very close" to Gaddafi and he was "the political link between the people's committees and the foreign office".

The Libyan official blamed Mrs Thatcher (below) for helping US President Ronald Reagan with attacks on Libyan cities Tripoli and Benghazi in April 1986.

He told the Irish official: "Thatcher and her children will have to pay, let there be no doubt about that. If she does not leave office she and her family will be destroyed."

During ambassador Kennedy's two-hour meeting with Mr Muzber, for some of the time the Libyan "was screaming, weeping and sweating all at once".

According to the document, he added: "But towards the end he said something to which I took serious exception. He said that at the next popular congress he would advocate, despite all I had said, full support for the IRA against Thatcher. 'What could the IRA not do, he asked, if they had $50 million to use against Thatcher'?"

Thatcher escaped an IRA attack in 1984 when they bombed the Brighton hotel which was hosting the Conservative Party conference. Five people were killed and more than 30 injured in the attack.

Innocent Victims United spokesman Kenny Donaldson said that despite the IRA's campaigns of terrorism, they were unable to "break Margaret Thatcher".

"The Libyans despised Thatcher and by default, the UK, and they were prepared to have the PIRA death cult act as their sub-contractors in mounting an assault on the UK state and its' people," he said.

"It is not surprising that the Libyans were prepared to pay a ransom to PIRA serial killers for the head of the British Government."

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