Sinn Fein has declined to comment on claims that Gerry Adams was delayed from entering the White House on St Patrick’s Day due to reports that the IRA still exists and is involved in organised crime.
The party has also declined to comment on reports that the decision to detain Sinn Fein’s Kerry TD Martin Ferris at Boston’s Logan Airport last week was linked to his involvement in the gun-smuggling operation regarding notorious US serial killer gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger.
The US Secret Service apologised to Mr Adams after he was denied entry into the White House reception hosted by Barack Obama.
The Sinn Fein president was forced to wait outside the White House event last Tuesday night after being informed a security issue had arisen.
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Stormont Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were allowed to enter the event but Mr Adams decided to leave after having waited for 90 minutes.
The Sunday Independent reported yesterday that senior security sources linked his difficulty in entering the White House to last October’s report that the Provisional IRA still exists and is involved in organised crime,
The insistence by Mr Adams and Sinn Fein that the IRA does not exist was undermined by the report of the independent three-member group set up by the British Government in the wake of the murders of Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison and Kevin McGuigan in Belfast last year, the paper reported.
The independent report found that: “PIRA members believe that the PAC (army council) oversees both PIRA and Sinn Fein with an overarching strategy.”
The Sunday Independent also reported that the Bulger-IRA connection is under re-examination amid claims that one of the US security agencies allowed the arms smuggling operation to go ahead in order to protect Bulger, who was then a senior informant for the FBI.
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said: “The US immigration laws have changed recently, meaning that it is much more difficult to enter the USA under the Visa waiver programme when the individual has had any connection with terrorism.
“I’m not sure if Ferris had a Visa or was entering under the waiver programme.
“As for Adams, he clearly got into the country but the Secret Service guarding the White House obviously felt he should be properly vetted.
“Again, evidence of a tightening in security due to the increased threat of terrorist attack.
“The threat levels in London are equally high and as for home – just increased to the highest level.”