FAS | Intelligence | World Agencies | Para-States ||||| Search |

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
People's Liberation Army (PLA)
People's Republican Army (PRA)
Catholic Reaction Force (CRF)


Terrorist group formed in 1975 as the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), which split from the Official IRA (OIRA) because of OIRA’s cease-fire in 1972. Responsible for some of the most notorious killings of “the Troubles,” including the bombing of a Ballykelly pub that killed 17 people in 1982, bloody internal feuding has repeatedly torn the INLA. The INLA announced a cease-fire in August 1998 but continues to carry out occasional attacks and punishment beatings.


The INLA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion, and robberies. On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks. Targets include British military, Northern Ireland security targets, and loyalist paramilitary groups. The INLA continues to observe a cease-fire as—in the words of its leadership in 2003—a return to the armed struggle is “not a viable option at this time.”


Unclear, but probably fewer than 50 hard-core activists. Police counterterrorist operations and internal feuding have reduced the group’s strength and capabilities.

Location/Area of Operation

Northern Ireland, Irish Republic. Does not have a significant established presence on the UK mainland.

External Aid

Suspected in the past of receiving funds and arms from sympathizers in the United States.

Sources and Resources

FAS | Intelligence | World Agencies | Para-States ||||| Search |

Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated May 28, 2004