Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:49 am Post subject: 1998 - 15Aug - Was Omagh Bomb a false flag?
|15Aug1998 - Was Omagh Bomb a false flag?
the Omagh files
I remember this very well - peace agreement had just been signed
Brigadier Gordon Kerr in the area
Live radio that day said their was a warning but that the RUC were directing shoppers TOWARDS the bomb.
Was vital intelligence about the Omagh bomb withheld?
By Sam Lister and Adrian Rutherford
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 - Belfast Telegraph
A new investigation must be set up to examine whether the state withheld vital intelligence from detectives hunting the Omagh bombers, a parliamentary report said today.
The parliamentary probe looked at claims that spy agencies failed to pass on crucial evidence about bombers in the days after the 1998 atrocity.
Twenty-nine people and two unborn children died in the Real IRA attack.
Today’s report by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee also said too many questions remained unanswered over how much the security services knew about the bombers’ movements.
Speaking today, Victor Barker, whose 12-year-old son James was killed in the bombing, said he was not surprised by its findings.
“This is what we’ve suspected all along — that information was being hidden from us,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“There should be a proper, public inquiry with full access to all the information, because we need to know if there was some form of directive or conspiracy to make sure these people weren’t brought to justice. In 12 years two people have been charged and not one has been found guilty, and I find it absolutely amazing that this investigation was botched up in the way it was.”
In January 2009 a report by Intelligence Services Commissioner Sir Peter Gibson rejected claims that vital intelligence about the bombing was deliberately held back.
But the committee today said that Sir Peter’s report left many crucial questions unanswered about the way the atrocity was investigated.
Members said they were disturbed by suggestions that arrests could have been made quickly if there had been earlier exchanges of information.
In 2008 the BBC’s Panorama programme claimed that intelligence agency GCHQ monitored suspects' mobile phone calls as they drove to Omagh from the Republic on the day of the bombing. Panorama said this information was never passed to detectives assigned to the case.
Although the programme’s claims were later rejected by Sir Peter, today’s report claims the victims’ families still need answers.
“Far too many questions remain unanswered,” committee chairman Sir Patrick Cormack said.
The committee looked at how information is passed between intelligence agencies and police and called for details about what Special Branch knew to be revealed.
“We are particularly concerned by the suggestion that the names of individuals who owned telephones, thought to have been used in the bombing, were known to the intelligence services or to the police,” the report states.
“We seek a definitive statement from the police of whether such names were known. If they were, we seek an explanation of why no action was taken to arrest or question the owners of those telephones.”
The committee says questions remain about whether the bombing could have been pre-empted if action had been taken against the terrorist gang who carried out a spate of bombings prior to Omagh.
While dismissing the possibility that the bomb could have been prevented, Sir Peter said he could not rule in or out the possibility that ‘live’ monitoring occurred.
The committee also criticised the Government for refusing to give it sight of Sir Peter’s full report, which has been classified for security reasons.
That provokes speculation which is “not conducive to convincing us that everything that could be done has been done”, the committee said, adding it was exasperating.
Sir Patrick, the committee chairman, added that key questions remain unanswered.
“The criminal justice system has failed to bring to justice those responsible for the Omagh bombing,” he said. “The least that those who were bereaved or injured have the right to expect are answers to those questions.”
Omagh bomb: Key points made in the damning parliamentary probe
By Adrian Rutherford
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 Belfast Telegraph
Today's Westminster report has been highly critical of State secrecy in the aftermath of the Omagh bomb.
New Omagh inquiry needed
A new investigation is needed to examine whether vital intelligence was withheld from detectives hunting the bombers, the report states.
It said the key question remains unanswered — what public interest justification there can be for withholding intelligence, information or evidence from police investigating the atrocity.
Could bombing have been |prevented?
Committee concludes that questions remain about whether Omagh could have been pre-empted by action against terrorists who carried out earlier bombings.
It also adds: “Nothing we have seen leads us to challenge Sir Peter Gibson’s conclusion that any available intelligence could have been used immediately prior to the Omagh bombing to prevent it.”
Government secrecy “reprehensible”
It expressed “bitter disappointment” that the Prime Minister has refused to allow chairman Sir Patrick Cormack to read the full report. The report states it is “thoroughly reprehensible” that the Government should seek to prevent access, adding its attitude “has done more damage than good”.
Explain secrecy over telephone intercepts
The Government is told to justify the argument that the public interest is best served by keeping telephone intercepts secret rather than using them to bring the bombers to justice.
Reconsider use of intercept intelligence
The UK's Intelligence and Security Committee should reconsider the use of any intercept intelligence. The report adds: “We urge the Secretary of State to revise his view that this issue has ‘had its inquiry’ and to institute an immediate investigation into whether, and, if so, why, this intelligence was withheld.”
Were bombers known to intelligence services?
The committee called for a “definitive statement” from police on whether the names of those thought to have been involved in the bombing were known to the intelligence services or the RUC.
It adds: “If they were, we seek an explanation of why no action was taken to arrest or question the owners of those telephones.”
What did Special Branch know?
The report concludes that further investigation is needed into what evidence Special Branch gave to the investigation team, and what information was withheld and why.
“We believe that the public interest would be served by revealing to the greatest possible extent why information that might have led to arrests in a mass murder case was not used,” the committee said.
Legal aid for civil actions
The Government should consider providing legal aid for the victims of terrorism if they bring civil actions against suspected perpetrators once a criminal probe has failed to bring a prosecution.
‘Deep regret’ that no-one convicted
The committee expressed its “deep regret” that no one has been convicted of causing the worst terrorist outrage in Northern Ireland’s history.
“Whatever the reasons may be, the criminal justice system has in this case badly failed the victims of the bombing,” it concludes.
Omagh bomb accused Colm Murphy cleared by retrial
BBC – 24th February 2010
Colm Murphy was originally sentenced to 14 years in jail
The only man jailed in connection with the 1998 Omagh bombing has been cleared following a retrial.
Colm Murphy, 57, from County Louth, was jailed for 14 years in 2002, but won an appeal against his conviction in 2005.
He was sent for retrial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin in January.
In his verdict on Wednesday, Mr Justice Butler said interview evidence from members of the Irish police (gardai) was inadmissible.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Murphy said: "I am glad to see it's all over.''
The original trial found Mr Murphy was guilty of conspiracy to cause an explosion because he lent mobile phones to the gang who planted the Omagh bomb, knowing they would be used in the bombing operation. He had always denied the charge.
During that trial, two gardai detectives were accused by a trial judge of consistent perjury in relation to interview notes.
That led to the Supreme Court quashing his conviction and ordering the retrial.
On Wednesday, Mr Justice Butler, sitting with two other judges, ruled that there was no evidence upon which the court could have convicted Mr Murphy.
He said the court had found that all of the evidence obtained in 15 police interviews with Mr Murphy following his arrest in February 1999 was inadmissible.
Last June, the Mr Murphy was one of four men found liable for the Omagh bombing in a civil action taken by 12 relatives of people killed in the attack.
Mr Murphy, Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell and Seamus Daly, who are all alleged Real IRA members, were ordered to pay £1.6m in damages to the relatives. The civil case had no bearing on the retrial in Dublin.
A fifth man, Seamus McKenna, was cleared of liability.
Twenty nine people, including a woman pregnant with twins, died in the attack on 15 August 1998.
In 1984 Mr Murphy spent a year in jail in the United States for trying to buy missiles, rifles and submachine guns.
Omagh campaigner Michael Gallagher, whose 21-year-old son Aiden was murdered in the bombing, said the development came as a blow to bereaved families.
"It has been the history of this process that the families have been disappointed time and time again, but when it happens it is still hard," he said.
"But I think this is the first time in years I feel angry."
"This is a crime that the Taoiseach, the Prime Minister and the President of the United States took an interest in.
"If this can't be solved what hope is there for other crimes?"
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung