Probably not totally unexpected, but deeply depressing nevertheless, The Belfast Telegraph reports that Anjem Choudary, who has close links to the infamous hate preacher, Omar Bakri Mohammed, said the use of Shannon Airport as a stop-off for US warplanes justifies Ireland being attacked.
Are we well equipped for this after 30 years of ‘home grown’ terrorism and conflict which have left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of people both North and South?
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Islamic cleric says Ireland is a ‘legitimate target’
By Mick McCaffrey
17 August 2005
A notorious British-based Islamic extremist has said Ireland is a “legitimate” target for al-Qa’ida terror attacks.
Anjem Choudary, who has close links to the infamous hate preacher, Omar Bakri Mohammed, said the use of Shannon Airport as a stop-off for US warplanes justifies Ireland being attacked.
The solicitor (38) said: “If your government wants to support the atrocities in Afghanistan they can expect some repercussions,” and added that Ireland had “opened itself” to attacks from radical Muslims linked to al-Qa’ida.
Choudary even said that terrorists have the right to kill indiscriminately since American bombers did not pick and choose military targets in Iraq.
He said he was “not in the business” of condemning terrorist attacks in Britain and Ireland and added: “What you need to do is you need to be responsible and you need to look after your national security.
“If people slipped into Ireland from Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, where the Irish are standing side by side with the butcher of Baghdad, George Bush, then they would have a legitimacy for that type of thing.
“That’s not my personal opinion but your asking me what it says in the Koran.”
Choudary believes that Ireland has risked being targeted by opening up Shannon to planes transporting US troops to Iraq.
“Obviously if Ireland is allowing their land to be used for planes to fly and to bomb Muslims, then those Muslims will obviously have a right to retaliate, it goes without saying.”
He also criticises Irish Muslims, saying they’ve been “stripped of their Islamic personality through secular education. On the one hand they’re not willing to speak up and on the other hand they’re intimidated into being docile.”
Choudary joined Omar Bakri Mohammed’s al-Muhajiroun extremists in the late 1990s and became the cleric’s spokesperson and advisor. He hailed the September 11 attacks as a “towering day in history” and hailed the hijackers as “magnificent martyrs”.
Among the targets that the extremist believes are legitimate include hospitals, women and children.
“So this is the nature of war, people don’t make love in war do they? They’ll kill each other. If you fire a nuclear weapon they will fire a nuclear weapon back.”