WAR ON TERROR: GLOBAL MURDER - HATRED GOES ON; the World Focuses on Afghanistan .. but Terrorism Must Be Beaten Everywhere

The Mirror (London, England), October 2, 2001 | Go to article overview

WAR ON TERROR: GLOBAL MURDER - HATRED GOES ON; the World Focuses on Afghanistan .. but Terrorism Must Be Beaten Everywhere


Byline: KEVIN TOOLIS Expert on international terrorism

THEY buried a freedom fighter in Ireland yesterday.

There were no guns, no flags, no men in balaclavas proclaiming vengeance at the graveside.

The only weapons the thousand mourners brandished were umbrellas against the relentless Irish rain as they shed tears for a good man gone.

The freedom fighter was a 51-year-old father of three called Martin O'Hagan and he was killed because he told the truth.

Martin was a reporter, the first journalist ever to be murdered in the last 30 years of Ireland's troubles.

Prime Minister Tony Blair might be "standing shoulder to shoulder" with President George Bush in their war against global terrorism but Martin's murder is vivid proof that the terrorists aren't listening.

On the same day Martin was buried under a grey Irish sky there were three serious terrorist incidents across the globe.

IN Kashmir, northern India, 21 people died in a combined suicide bomb and shooting attack on the parliament building in Srinagar. The attack has been claimed by Islamic militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammad Islamic terrorist group who have been linked with Osama bin Laden.

IN Madrid a car bomb exploded, in Vitoria, capital of the Basque country outside the Palace of Justice. It was undoubtedly the work of the Basque terrorist group ETA.

AND in the Middle East another car bomb exploded in the heart of Jerusalem. Packed with nails and explosives the device has once more placed in doubt the tentative Israeli-Palestinian cease fire that is so crucial for the Western Alliance's battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

All across the world in Ulster, India, Israel and Spain it is business as usual in the killing game. In fact the barbarism seems to have increased since Bush declared war on international terrorism on September 12.

The sad truth, is that the day after the New York and Washington attacks, there were men already laying plans to kill police officers with a bomb in Northern Ireland.

Terrorism didn't end with the suicide hijacks which claimed over 5,000 lives in America. While attention has been focused on Afghanistan, at least 121 people have been killed in terrorist attacks around the world.

In Chechnya, a co-ordinated attack wiped out ten top military men and the killings still go on in Israel, in Ireland and in Sri Lanka.

While the "war on terror" is fought, its targets fight back with car devices, suicide bombs, pipe bombs, boats packed with explosives.

Many of them call themselves freedom fighters, not terrorists. They don't think the war applies to them.

Martin was the real freedom fighter. Even for a society like Ulster, his murder was a shocking event.

Officially terrorism in Ireland is supposed to be over. Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement the guns are supposed to be silent.

But that didn't stop killers from the Loyalist Volunteer Force - in essence a Protestant murder gang - gunning down Mr O'Hagan just a few yards from his front door on Friday night. In front of his wife Marie. The LVF and their mates in the Ulster Defence Association hated Martin because of his reporting for the Sunday World newspaper.

Martin wrote the truth about the big, brave men, Ulster's so-called defenders, who terrorise five-year-old Catholic schoolchildren or who kill innocent teenagers and then claim they're fighting a war. …

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