1998 - 15Aug - Was Omagh Bomb a false flag?

False flag operations are covert (black) operations conducted by special forces, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as though they are being carried out by an enemy. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colours; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. Generally considered a dishonourable and extremely cowardly act. False flag operations are not limited to war or counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during the Italian Strategy of Tension.

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1998 - 15Aug - Was Omagh Bomb a false flag?

Post by TonyGosling »

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?"

http://www.radio4all.net/files/turntabl ... 100321.mp3
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Post by Mark Gobell »

And this Sir Peter Gibson, Commissioner of SIS, is Chairing the enquiry into torture.

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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

GCHQ 'monitored Omagh bomb calls'

Sunday, 14 September 2008
Families and people involved in the investigation on the revelations

The UK's electronic intelligence agency GCHQ recorded mobile phone exchanges between the Omagh bombers on the day of the attack, the BBC has learned.
The BBC's Panorama says the calls were monitored as the bombers drove the car bomb into the County Tyrone town.
The attack on 15 August 1998 was the worst single atrocity of the Troubles, and killed 29 people.
The Panorama programme has led to calls from bereaved relatives for a full public inquiry.
'Shadowy and secret'
Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay, a member of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, said the BBC's revelations needed to be "thoroughly investigated".
The MP for Thurrock said: "It is disgraceful that there is no parliamentary oversight of the intelligence and security services.
"All there is, is... the shadowy and highly secret, so-called 'intelligence and security committee'.

Oran Doherty, victim of the Omagh bombing

Relatives voice their anger
Q&A: Omagh GCHQ intelligence
"Its existence simply will not be sufficient to assuage grieving relatives, nor the public, that we were well served by our security services in this incident."
The committee, set up in 1994 with the task of overseeing the security services, has nine members hand-picked by the prime minister and reports to them.
The 500lb (227kg) Omagh bomb was planted by members of the Real IRA - renegade IRA members opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process.
Despite police inquiries on both sides of the Irish border over the last 10 years, at the cost of tens of millions of pounds, none of the bombers are in jail.
Well-placed sources told Panorama that GCHQ was monitoring the bombers' phones that day, a claim confirmed by Ray White, former assistant chief constable in charge of crime and Special Branch for the Northern Ireland police service.
Whether GCHQ could have helped stop the bombing comes down to whether they were listening to live exchanges between the bombers, allowing them to respond to events, or whether they were simply recording the conversations.
Interception plan
Mr White told Panorama that the Special Branch officer responsible for requesting GCHQ's assistance was "adamant" he had asked for live monitoring.
He said the officer did this "primarily for the purpose of triggering a pre-arranged surveillance plan" to interdict the bombers.
Some weeks before Omagh was attacked, the Special Branch was given a mobile phone number being used by bombers operating mainly from the Irish Republic. That number was passed to GCHQ for monitoring.
GCHQ, Cheltenham
Special Branch officers say they asked GCHQ for live monitoring of the calls
Two weeks before the Omagh bomb, the town of Banbridge in County Down was devastated by a similar car bomb attack, in which 38 people were injured.
In the minutes running up to the Banbridge attack, GCHQ recorded a phone exchange between the bombers, including the phrase "the bricks are in the wall" - a code meaning that the car bomb had been parked and the device armed.
Phone billing records show the Omagh bomb run began in Castleblaney in the Irish Republic at around 12.40 on 15 August, with two mobiles having a 14-second exchange - the first of nine such exchanges both before and after the bombing.
One mobile was in the scout car which was checking the road ahead was clear, the other in the bomb car.
Coded message
As Panorama reports, if intelligence officers were listening there were clues in the conversations, which though coded, could have acted as warnings.
At one point the scout mobile was called from a telephone box at a petrol station 100m (about 110 yards) inside Northern Ireland near Jonesborough.
Sir Ronnie Flanagan
Sir Ronnie Flanagan says he knew nothing of GCHQ's involvement
Special Branch, who were monitoring the phone box, identified the voice as that of Liam Campbell, a senior Real IRA commander suspected of involvement in previous bombings.
At around 1330, the words "we're crossing the line" were picked up from one of the mobiles, coinciding with one of the cars crossing the border into Northern Ireland at Aughnacloy.
By 1410 the cars were in Omagh, and at around 1420 came the same coded phrase used by the Banbridge bombers - "the bricks are in the wall".
At 1504 the bomb exploded, by which time the bombers were safely back in the Irish Republic.
After the bombing, Panorama says, Special Branch asked GCHQ what happened and was told: "We missed it."
Whether "missed it" was because GCHQ was simply recording the conversations, or whether officers had been listening in but had not understood the significance of the coded fragments, is not clear.
People attending service marking 10th anniversary of bomb
Last month saw the 10th anniversary of the attack
But, as Panorama reports, even if GCHQ could not have prevented the attack, more could have been done to help the investigation.
According to one of the sources who spoke to the programme, transcripts reporting exchanges with up to five mobiles associated with the bombers were sent to Belfast "within hours" of the bombing.
However, these were never disclosed to the detectives hunting the bombers.
In fact, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, former chief constable of both the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), told Panorama he was unaware GCHQ had been monitoring the bombers' mobile phones.
'Golden hours'
Former RUC and PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Ray White said that sharing telephone numbers and the identities of those using the mobiles with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) immediately "would have been, in a sense, manna from heaven".
He said that arrests could have been made in the "golden hours period" when forensic and other evidential opportunities were at their optimum.
Michael Gallagher
Michael Gallagher, whose son was killed, wants a public inquiry
However, Mr White said Special Branch members have told him they did not receive details of GCHQ intercepts until three to four days after the bombing.
Special Branch insist that they gave this information, which had been sanitised by GCHQ, verbally to the CID 24 hours later.
Yet Panorama reports that while the Special Branch did brief the CID, police sources say there is no record in the CID log of a briefing until three and a half weeks after the bombing.
Even then detectives only received some of the names of the main suspects, with no details to help them build a case.
The fact that the bombers had used mobile phones, and that GCHQ had voice recordings and their telephone numbers, was withheld.
Consequently the CID was forced to spend nine months trawling through 6.4 million telephone records to finally identify 22 suspects' phones active in Omagh and four other bombings.
Although this proved which mobiles had been in Omagh, prosecutors needed evidence of who had been using them before going to court.
GCHQ had some voice recordings, but by law intercepts cannot be admitted as evidence. Panorama says there was nothing to stop the details from being shared with the CID to give them early leads.
In response to Panorama's findings, Michael Gallagher, chairman of the Omagh Support and Self Help Group, said: "We have been demanding a public inquiry since 2002 into the abysmal failure of the police inquiries.
"In all conscience the government can no longer resist this."
The government declined to respond to detailed written questions submitted by Panorama.
Panorama: Omagh - What the Police Were Never Told
will be broadcast on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday 15 September.
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Fury as Blair snubs Omagh families
Northern Ireland - Observer special
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sun 17 Feb 2002 01.10 GMT First published on Sun 17 Feb 2002 01.10 GMT
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... ernireland

Tony Blair has angered families of the Omagh bomb victims by refusing to meet them at 10 Downing Street.
The group representing those who lost loved ones in the single biggest atrocity of Northern Ireland's Troubles accused the Prime Minister of ignoring their concerns about the police's handling of the inquiry.

They had written to ask Blair to listen to their worries about reports from the Police Ombudsman and the Chief Constable in Ulster on the Royal Ulster Constabulary's conduct of the Omagh investigation. But in a reply dated 4 February and addressed to Liz Gibson - whose sister, Esther, was one of 29 killed in the Real IRA bomb attack in August 1998 - he turned down their request.

'I am very conscious that you, all those who have been so deeply affected by the tragedy, will be concerned by some of the comments in both reports. Des Browne, Victims Minister in the Northern Ireland Office, specialises in this area and I think a meeting with him to discuss your concerns would be more appropriate at this time,' he wrote in his personally signed letter.

Gibson contrasted Blair's reluctance to invite the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group to Downing Street with his meeting in Number 10 with members of the family of Pat Finucane, the nationalist solicitor shot dead by loyalists in 1989. Since the murder, the Finucanes and human rights groups have consistently alleged that the security forces colluded with loyalists in the assassination.

'The Prime Minister was prepared to hear the concerns of Mrs Finucane and her family. He was one victim; we had 32 victims, including two unborn children. Why does he run away from us?' Gibson said. She added that the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group had already met Des Browne and were unimpressed.

A Downing Street spokesman said: 'The Prime Minister of course understands the relatives' concerns, but believes that a meeting with the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office is the right place to air their concerns at this stage.'

But Michael Gallagher, the chairman of the Omagh group, whose son Adrian was killed, said the Prime Minister's refusal to invite them to Number 10 was due to fear about what the families might say afterwards.

Nuala O'Loan, Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman, sparked controversy when she alleged there was a 'failure of leadership' within the Police Service of Northern Ireland (formerly the Royal Ulster Constabulary) over their investigation into the atrocity.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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