Lord Rogan, member of the Ulster Unionist Party has expressed his concern over the amount of Semtex explosives still in the hands of those opposed to the Northern Ireland peace agreement. Speaking to the Londonderry Sentinnel he said,
Even as recently as February of this year dissident republican terrorists were boasting that they have more than a tonne of Semtex plastic explosive that escaped the decommissioning process and could now be used against mainland British targets…They claim to have tested it and confirmed that it is still viable, even though it was smuggled to Ireland via Libya in the 1980s.
Semtex was invented in the 1950s by Stanislav Brebera in Czechoslovakia and has been widely used in commercial demolition as well as some military use. It has been widely used by terrorist organisations and was used in the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 which was destroyed by Libyan terrorists over Lockerbie on 21st December 1988.
During the Troubles of the 1970s and 1980s the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) used the explosive in conjunction with cases of commercial fertiliser. The relatively small amount of Semtex triggered a much larger explosion from the fertiliser.
Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi supplied large quantities of Semtex to both organisations during the 1980s as well as a number of Islamic and Arab terrorist organisations as part of a wider campaign against the western powers chiefly France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.