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Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan backtracks on 'Islamic State not terrorists' comment

By David Young

Published 21/11/2015

Controversial MLA Phil Flanagan
Controversial MLA Phil Flanagan

Controversial Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan sparked fury yesterday after telling his local newspaper the Impartial reporter that he did not consider Islamic State (IS) as "terrorists".

"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 MLA said.

Leading the critics, Fermanagh & South Tyrone MP Tom Elliot said Mr Flanagan should consider his position.

"Islamic State have slaughtered people as they ate dinner and attended music gigs, raped and enslaved women and thrown gay men off buildings," the MP said in a statement.

"If this is not terror I don't know what is."

After a day of facing ferocious criticism, Mr Flanagan last night carried out a U-turn.

"Clearly Isis are engaged in terror and responsible for countless atrocities.

"For those chasing headlines let me be clear Isis are terrorists," the Fermanagh MLA posted on his Twitter account.

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