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Sinn Féin MLA now insists Isis ARE 'terrorists'

Phil Flanagan had earlier been reported to say that he did not consider the organisation as ‘terrorists’.

Phil Flanagan
Phil Flanagan
Image: Twitter

Updated 6pm 

SINN FÉIN MLA Phil Flanagan has now said that Isis are terrorists after he was earlier quoted as saying that they were not and describing the term as having “demonised organisations”.

The Northern Assembly member for South Tyrone and Fermanagh made his initial remarks in an interview with The Impartial Reporter this week. He said he does not believe bombing Syria in response to the Paris attacks is the solution.

The paper reported that Flanagan said he does not consider Isis as “terrorists” and quoted him as saying:

I am not comfortable with the approach by the British establishment and other countries involved in invasion and colonial activities in the past in labelling organisations terrorists.

The former Fermanagh councillor, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2011, added that the term “demonised organisations”.

Contacted by TheJournal.ie about his remarks today, Flanagan did not deny the comments.

However, this evening he has tweeted to clarify his remarks:

In his earlier statement to this website, he said:

Clearly Isis is engaged in terror and responsible for countless atrocities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and most recently in Paris and Mali.

“Those targeted posed no threat to anyone but were targeted without cause, without justification or without mercy. All of us also need to stand against fundamentalism, bigotry, sectarianism and racism.

He said that those behind the attacks in Paris and those “perpetrating horrendous violence and injustice” against civilians in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon “are the enemies of all lovers of freedom and justice”.

On potential military action in Syria, he said: “We know from our own troubled history that there are no purely military solutions. Diplomacy, negotiations and political resolution of conflict is key.

“As a lasting tribute to the victims in Paris – and to all victims of global conflict  – world leaders must redouble efforts to resolve conflict and to build peace.”

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said earlier: “[The] people who are engaged in these acts are terrorists. It’s very clear that these people are engaged in terrorist acts.”

Flanagan courted controversy earlier this year over comments he made about an article written by abuse victim Mairia Cahill regarding Sinn Féin’s links with the IRA. He later apologised.

In 2013 he was forced to apologise after sharing an offensive tweet about the birth of Prince William and Kate’s first child.

First published at 3pm 

Read: US politicians just voted to make it almost impossible for refugees fleeing ISIS to come to America

WATCH: French politician calls terrorist leader a “f***ing bastard” on live TV

 

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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