Munich Oktoberfest bombing 1980

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I don’t want to make this a political blog but I can’t avoid some politics without telling the factual story. Last weekend’s elections in Germany did see a rise of popularity of far right politics(and no matter what the leaders of AFD say, that is what they are).

Despite the fact the German economy is sound and unemployment is low, the AFD was able to tap into the fears of the German citizens, the fear for Islam. And yes there are valid grounds to fear Jihadi extremists. The truth of the matter  though no terror groups act out of  religion but out of political reasons and then use any excuse to validate this political act, be it religion,animal rights or otherwise.

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the biggest terror attack in Germany and this attack was not committed by Arabs or Muslims but by a German student, named ,Gundolf Köhler. Although he may have had accomplices.Gundolf_Köhler

It is beyond dispute that Gundolf Köhler, a university student from the Swabian town of Donaueschingen, made the bomb, took it to Munich and deposited it at the scene of the crime. But even today, 37 years later, his motives remain unclear.

Köhler was also killed in the attack, because the bomb went off too soon. Few people believe that he committed suicide, however. He was said to be technically adept and knowledgeable about explosives. But the student also had ties to Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann, a banned neo-Nazi terrorist organization, and had taken part in their exercises a number of times.

At 10:19 p.m. on 26 September 1980, a bomb exploded at the main entrance to Oktoberfest, killing 13 people instantly (including Köhler) and injuring 225 people. Amongst the individuals killed were one Briton, one Swiss, and three German children, aged 6, 8, and 10; the remaining victims were West German adults.

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The bomb had been planted in a litter bin at about waist level, allowing it to wreak significant havoc upon detonation. Approximately 50 of the 225 “non fatal” casualties experienced serious, life-threatening injuries with the potential to impact the afflicted individuals for the rest of their lives. The area affected by the bombing was the size of a soccer field, which measures at 100 yards long (the same size as a football field) and 60 yards wide. Such demonstrates the devastating impact of this bomb and underscores why it was able to impact a large number of people. Furthermore, analysis of the bomb provides insight into why it was able to be particularly devastating. Reconstruction from the site of the bombing indicates that it was created from a British mortar projectile manufactured in 1954. This particular projectile was modified to ensure an intense degree of fragmentation, which would assist in causing as many fatalities (and severe injuries) as quickly as possible.

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The key eyewitness remains a dubious figure. Frank Lauterjung was able to provide more details about the attack than anyone else. He survived the explosion, even though he was only a few meters away, because he had had a “bad feeling” and thrown himself to the ground before the bomb detonated. Investigators questioned Lauterjung at least five times in 1980. He died of heart failure two years later, when he was only 38. But when he was questioned, the State Office of Criminal Investigation in Munich ignored his most explosive statement.

Lauterjung told investigators that he had noticed Köhler engaged in a heated conversation with two men in green parkas near the site of the bombing, about half an hour before the attack.

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An unnamed nurse told ARD that shortly after the Munich bombing she recalled treating a young man whose lower arm was missing.

“The arm had been injured by an explosion and had to be amputated,” the nurse told ARD. “But he wouldn’t say how he got hurt – he was proud of it. I went into his room and he was smiling all over.

She said he was never visited by his parents but only by “groups of men”, and added: “He disappeared after a week without even having his stitches removed.”

Ulrich Chaussy, the journalist behind the ARD documentary, has suspected irregularities in the Oktoberfest attack investigation for decades. He has long-believed that the severed hand, which was destroyed by federal prosecutors in 1987, did not belong to Köhler.The formal investigation into the bomb attack was stopped in 1982. Mr Chaussy’s investigations prompted the case to be reopened in December 2014.

 

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Pan Am Flight 103-Lockerbie

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Today marks the 28th anniversary if the Pan Am Flight 103,Lockerbie bombing

I am not going in to great detail into the story because so much has already been written about the terror attack. I will highlight some of the passengers stories.

A total of 270 people, including young children and students, died in the air and on the ground in the 1988 attack.

Ingrid Smith

Four days before Christmas 1988, Bruce Smith received a frantic call from his son that Pan Am Flight 103, en route from London to New York, had blown up.

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Smith, a Pan Am pilot who had flown the same kind of plane on the same route, raced to New York’s Kennedy International Airport and arrived in the crew room in time to see live television pictures of the fire ignited by the crashing fuselage in Lockerbie, Scotland. He knew almost instantly that his wife, Ingrid, was dead.

Smith became a man with a mission. He buried his wife at the small English church where they had married. And then, with the $100,000 in life insurance payments as seed money, he turned his attention to catching terrorists.

Karen Lee Hunt

 

Born January 7, 1968, Karen Lee Hunt, of Webster, New York, was a Syracuse University junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She majored in English with a minor in journalism and hoped to be a magazine writer.

 

Karen wrote poetry and kept a journal that was returned to her family after the crash. During her stay in London Karen took great care to buy gifts for her family and friends. One gift of a teapot, bought for her mother Peggy, survived the crash.

This was one of her poems

“Something has happened to keep us apart,

But always and forever you’re in my heart,

Some day soon, from now till forever,

I’ll meet you again and we’ll be together,

I’m not sure how, and I’m not sure when,

Together, forever, somewhere my friend”

John, Sean Kevin and Ingrid Elizabeth Svensson Mulroy

Sean Kevin Mulroy and Ingrid Elizabeth Svensson-Mulroy

 

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John Mulroy was director of international communications for the Associated Press. He had spent 25 years as director of communications for Pan Am and joined the wire service in 1984. He was survived by his wife Josephine, daughter Siobhan and son Brendan.

John was traveling with his son Sean and daughter-in-law Ingrid, who were living in Ingrid’s native country of Sweden. The couple had decided to travel to the United States to spend Christmas with Sean’s family. They had been married only six months.

The Mulroys were also traveling with John’s sister Bridget Concannon, her husband Thomas and their son Sean

Sarah Margaret Aicher

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The 1988 Christmas season was an exciting time for 29-year-old Sarah Aicher. An aspiring American actress and playwright living in London, she was planning a trip to her parents’ home in Pomfret, Conn., accompanied by her Canadian actor-boyfriend, Paul Freeman. She and Freeman, 25, were bearing two pieces of good news: They were about to become engaged, and Sarah’s first script, Heaven, had attracted the attention of the Bristol Express Theatre Company, a London-based troupe that specialized in new dramatists.

 The young couple had giddily fantasized about a dream cast for the play — headed by Albert Finney, no less — and looked forward to a staged reading by the Bristol Express after the holidays, directed by Freeman.
But they were never to see the reading. Their flight to the States was the doomed Pan Am 103, which was blown up by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 passengers aboard. Andy Jordan, director of the Bristol Express, remembers feeling a stunned sense of’ ‘total disbelief” at the news. ”They were both so attractive, so charming and vital and talented,” he says.

Holly Johnson

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Holly Johnson, singer of eighties band “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” did not die on board of Pan Am Flight 103.

However Holly Johnson and his manager were scheduled to arrive in New York for final
negotiations about his break with Frankie Goes to Hollywood.  Whatever he was doing in London ran late, so when they left for Heathrow, they hit rush
hour traffic.  Johnson’s ticket was for Pan Am 103, but when they reached
Heathrow, they had missed the flight by about ten or fifteen minutes.

Word has it that Johnson was very sullen on the way back from the airport.
When they finally reached his (or his manager’s) flat, he switched the TV
on.  The manager went in the kitchen to get a glass of water.  When his
manager returned, Johnson’s eyes were transfixed on the screen.  There on
the screen, was the flaming wreckage of a small town in Scotland, Lockerbie,
and the remnants of Pan Am Flight 103.

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Terror Attacks

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Europe was hit by yet an awful terror attack and my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

It is only going to be a matter of time before the loony left,neo liberals  and the far right will be spouting their theories on who and what is to blame.On the one side we will have the claims of the ‘poor disenfranchised youth’ and the other side we’ll have ‘all muslims are terrorists’ and both will point the finger to the current refugee crisis.

But lets look at some facts.

Yes there is an issue with the management of the current refugee crisis.

The irony is that the one world leader who actually was willing to do something about this, inadvertently caused the opposite effect.I have great respect for Angela Merkel but in her naivety she has caused this crisis to happen. I know she did it with the best of intentions and it was very noble but it wasn’t thought through.

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It is a fact that when you invite everyone to come there is a big chance that that is exactly what will happen. Add the fact that Europe’s borders are a bit like an Emmenthal cheese,full of holes, you are inviting disaster.

This became very evident to me after watching an RTE documentary called ‘the Crossing’ about the refugee rescue efforts of the Irish Naval ship the LE Samuel Beckett in the the Mediterranean.

Most of the  rescued refugees said they wanted to go to Germany. In fact the smugglers had used Merkel’s open welcome, the smugglers had given some  of the refugees, the false promise  that once they got to Germany they would get free accommodation and a limitless credit card.

If you invite people to come without any proper vetting facilities being in place ,you take the risk that you also invite lunatics with a major chip on their shoulder.

On the other hand some of the worst terror attacks in the west were perpetrated long before the current refugee crisis.

New York 9/11-2001 -2,996 killed

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Madrid 3/11-2004 attack 192 Killed

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London 7/7 -2005 attack-52 killed

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Before people start blaming all religions of all evil ever committed in history,yes there are Muslim terrorists. But there are also Christian terrorist,Pagan Terrorist,Atheist terrorists and Animal Right terrorists, and even anti racism terrorists. Or as I like to call them “Lunatics with a warped sense of entitlement and disturbed political agendas”

Below are a few examples.

Anders Behring Breivik

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His religion is a Pagan religion called Odinism, although he had been a Christian before.He killed 77 in Norway on the 22nd of July 2011, this was also before the current refugee crisis.

Volkert van der Graaf

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is a Dutch convicted murderer who assassinated politician Pim Fortuyn, the leader of the Pim Fortuyn List (LPF), on 6 May 2002.

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This occurred during the political campaign for the Dutch general elections of 2002. An environmental and animal rights activist,he said at his trial that he murdered Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as “scapegoats” and targeting “the weak members of society” in seeking political power. I know some people will say he wasn’t a terrorist but a murderer, however when Theo van Gogh was murdered in a similar way, but by a Muslim,that crime was branded a terror attack . Even though both murders were nearly identical, therefore I will not cherry pick and will call Pim Fortuyn’s murder also a Terror attack.

Mohammed Bouyeri

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Mohammed Bouyeri (born 8 March 1978) is a Moroccan-Dutch radical Islamic terrorist and convicted murderer who is serving a life sentence without parole for the assassination of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh. He holds both Dutch and Moroccan citizenship.

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Filmmaker Theo van Gogh was notorious for his insults to “everyone respected in postwar multicultural Dutch society, including Jews and Muslims” but who “also helped bring Muslim actors onto Dutch television.”In 2004, he and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who was a Dutch member of parliament at the time, directed a short film called Submission, Part I about Islam and violence against women.

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In the film women are shown wearing transparent clothes with verses of the Quran written on their bodies. The film aired in August 2004 on Dutch television in prime time, the ensuing outcry led the Dutch police to offer police protection for both directors, but van Gogh refused.

The 26-year-old Bouyeri assassinated van Gogh in the early morning of 2 November 2004, in Amsterdam, in front of the city’s East Borough office (stadsdeelkantoor) on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat, while he was bicycling to work.

Luigi Galleani

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An Italian atheist and anarchist active in the United States from 1901 to 1919, viewed by historians as an insurrectionary anarchist. He is best known for his enthusiastic advocacy of “propaganda of the deed”, i.e. the use of violence to eliminate tyrants and oppressors and to act as a catalyst to the overthrow of existing government institutions. From 1914 to 1932, Galleani’s followers in the United States (known as i Galleanisti), carried out a series of bombings and assassination attempts against institutions and persons they viewed as class enemies.After Galleani was deported from the United States to Italy in June 1919, his colleagues are alleged to have carried out the Wall Street bombing of 16 September 1920, which resulted in the deaths of 38 people.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/09/16/wall-street-bombing/

Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action(Revolutionaire Anti-Racistische Actie)

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Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action or Revolutionaire Anti-Racistische Actie, often abbreviated RaRa was a Dutch Revolutionary group, although in the Netherlands the group was called a ‘political violent activist’-group The name “RaRa” in Dutch means “Guess …” (who we are),

RaRa was active in the 1980s and 1990s within the Netherlands, bombing sites to express opposition to the apartheid policies of South Africa as well as to the Dutch asylum legislation.Their bombings caused a lot of material damage. Amazingly no one was killed but it could have easily resulted in a great number of fatalities.

Of course there have been other terrorists organizations who caused a great number of fatalities in Europe, UDA,UVF,RAF,ETA,IRA and Baader Meinhof group to name but a few.

 

Wall Street bombing

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Many people think that terrorism is a relatively new phenomenon which really only started in the late 1960’s

But nothing could be further from the truth. Scholars dispute whether the roots of terrorism date back to the 1st century and the Sicarii Zealots, to the 11th century and the Al-Hashshashin, to the 19th century and the Fenian Brotherhood and Narodnaya Volya.

So terrorism has been around for many centuries. This blog is about one of the 1st of the ‘modern’ terror attacks.

The Wall Street bombing occurred at 12:01 pm on September 16, 1920, in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The blast killed 30 people immediately, and another eight died later of wounds sustained in the blast. There were 143 seriously injured, and the total number of injured was in the hundreds. The bombing was never solved, although investigators and historians believe the Wall Street bombing was carried out by Galleanists (Italian anarchists named after Luigi Galleani), a group responsible for a series of bombings the previous year. The attack was related to postwar social unrest, labor struggles, and anti-capitalist agitation in the United States.

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Just after noon on Thursday, September 16, 1920. A wagon loaded with a bomb containing dynamite and 500 pounds of small iron weights parked in front of 23 Wall Street. The corner building was then the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co., the nation’s most powerful bank. At 12:01 pm, the timer on the bomb reached zero and a terrific explosion rocked the street.

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Thirty people—and one horse—died instantly from the blast. Another eight died later from the injuries they sustained. Hundreds were injured, some by shrapnel on the street, others by the glass that rained down from the broken windows of the J.P. Morgan building. The blast was so forceful that, according to a bystander quoted in the New York Times the next day, a trolley carrying passengers two blocks away was “thrown from the tracks by the shock.”

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No-one claimed responsibility in the aftermath of the attack, leading many on the scene to conclude that the perpetrators were communist agitators fresh from the Bolshevik Revolution. On September 17, 1920, the Times reported that “both the police and the government investigators were inclined to the theory that Reds had placed a time bomb in the wagon.” Russians were the prime suspect in the eyes of John Markle, a wealthy anthracite coal field operator who happened to be at the J.P. Morgan building when the blast occurred. “[T]here is no question in my mind,” he told the Times, “that the explosion was caused by Bolsheviki.”

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he Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation (BOI, the forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation) did not immediately conclude that the bomb was an act of terrorism. Investigators were puzzled by the number of innocent people killed and the lack of a specific target, other than buildings that suffered relatively superficial, non-structural damage. Exploring the possibility of an accident, police contacted businesses that sold and transported explosives. By 3:30 pm, the board of governors of the New York Stock Exchange had met and decided to open for business the next day. Crews cleaned up the area overnight to allow for normal business operations the next day, but in doing so they destroyed physical evidence that might have helped police investigators solve the crime.The New York assistant district attorney noted that the timing, location, and method of delivery all pointed to Wall Street and J.P. Morgan as the targets of the bomb, suggesting in turn that it was planted by radical opponents of capitalism, such as Bolsheviks, anarchists, communists, or militant socialists.

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Investigators soon focused on radical groups opposed to U.S. financial and governmental institutions and known to use bombs as a means of violent reprisal. They observed that the Wall Street bomb was packed with heavy sash weights designed to act as shrapnel, then detonated on the street in order to increase casualties among financial workers and institutions during the busy lunch hour. Officials eventually blamed anarchists and communists. The Washington Post called the bombing an “act of war.”The Sons of the American Revolution had previously scheduled a patriotic rally for the day after (September 17) to celebrate Constitution Day at exactly the same intersection.

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On September 17, thousands of people attended the Constitution Day rally in defiance of the previous day’s attack.

The bombing stimulated renewed efforts by police and federal investigators to track the activities and movements of foreign radicals. Public demands to track down the perpetrators led to an expanded role for the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation, including the General Intelligence Division of the BOI headed by J. Edgar Hoover.The New York City Police Department also pushed to form a “special, or secret, police” to monitor “radical elements” in New York City.

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On September 17, the BOI released the contents of flyers found in a post office box in the Wall Street area just before the explosion. Printed in red ink on white paper, they said: “Remember, we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners, or it will be sure death for all of you.” At the bottom was: “American Anarchist Fighters.”The BOI quickly decided that the flyer eliminated the possibility of an accidental explosion. William J. Flynn, Director of the BOI, suggested the flyers were similar to those found at the June 1919 anarchist.

The investigation conducted by the Bureau of Investigation stalled when none of the victims turned out to be the driver of the wagon. Though the horse was newly shod, investigators could not locate the stable responsible for the work. When the blacksmith was located in October, he could offer the police little information.Robert W. Wood helped to reconstruct the bomb mechanism.

Investigators questioned tennis champion Edwin Fischer, who had sent warning post cards to friends, telling them to leave the area before September 16. He told police he had received the information “through the air.” However, they found Fischer made a regular habit of issuing such warnings, and had him committed to Amityville Asylum, where he was diagnosed as insane but harmless.

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The Bureau of Investigation and local police investigated the case for over three years without success. Occasional arrests garnered headlines but each time they failed to support indictments. Most of the initial investigation focused on anarchists and communists, such as the Galleanist group, whom authorities believed were involved in the 1919 bombings. During President Warren G. Harding’s administration, officials evaluated the Soviets as possible masterminds of the Wall Street bombing and then the Communist Party USA. In 1944, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, successor to the BOI, investigated again. It concluded that its agents had explored many radical groups, “such as the Union of Russian Workers, the I.W.W., Communist, etc….and from the result of the investigations to date it would appear that none of the aforementioned organizations had any hand in the matter and that the explosion was the work of either Italian anarchists or Italian terrorists.”

One Galleanist in particular, Italian Anarchist Mario Buda (1884–1963), an associate of Sacco and Vanzetti(Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian-born US anarchists who were convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company on April 15)220px-sacvan, and the owner of a car which led to the arrest of the latter for a separate robbery and murder, is alleged by some historians, including Paul Avrich, to be the man most likely to have planted the bomb. Avrich and other historians theorize that Buda acted in revenge for the arrest and indictment of his fellow Galleanists, Sacco and Vanzetti. Buda’s involvement as the Wall Street bombmaker was confirmed by statements made by his nephew Frank Maffi and fellow anarchist Charles Poggi, who interviewed Buda in Savignano, Italy, in 1955. Buda (at that time known by the alias of Mike Boda) had eluded authorities at the time of the arrests of Sacco and Vanzetti, was experienced in the use of dynamite and other explosives, was known to use sash weights as shrapnel in his time bombs, and is believed to have constructed several of the largest package bombs for the Galleanists(Buda was also a suspect in the Preparedness Day Bombing of San Francisco July 22, 1916). These included a large black powder bomb that killed nine policemen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1917. Buda was in New York City at the time of the bombing, but he was neither arrested nor questioned by police.

After leaving New York, Buda resumed the use of his real name in order to secure a passport from the Italian vice-consul, then promptly sailed for Naples. By November he was back in his native Italy, never to return to the United States.Other Galleanists still in the U.S. continued the bombing and assassination campaign for another twelve years, culminating in a 1932 bomb attack targeting Webster Thayer, the presiding judge in the Sacco and Vanzetti trial.Thayer, who survived the ensuing blast that destroyed his house and injured his wife and housekeeper, moved his residence to his club for the remainder of his life, where he was guarded 24 hours a day.

Today, the limestone acade of 23 Wall Street still bears the scars from the shrapnel that blasted into it 94 years ago. These little marks are the only on-site hint of the attack—no signs or plaques commemorate the bombing.

A poem for Nice

Every time when I think I can’t cry no more I wake up to reality.

Celebrating freedom is punished by a warped ideology

Men, women and children indiscriminately butchered by evil.

The only reasons are to cause fear and panic and to kill.

 

A man carries his child to safety, how will he ever to be able to explain?

Why is there so much hate and anger? The willingness to destroy, it is just insane.

A night where people from all walks of life, felt love and became friends

But this was seen as something wrong and a crime and had to end.

 

As so many times before, my solemn pledge will be.

Despite this malice I will keep my faith in humanity.

My thoughts are with the victims and the those that love them.

For love will conquer all, evil and hate we will condemn.

MH17

On July 17th 2014 Flight MH17 was cowardly brought down near Torez in the Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine, approximately 25 miles from the Russian border.

Thus far no one has claimed responsibility for this crime. One of the things I find really disturbing is the way some people are dismissing this as if it was an accident, it wasn’t it was a crime carried out by cowards.

Although there is no concrete evidence as such everything is pointing to Russia.

Bellingcat, a citizen journalism group, says it has identified up to 100 Russian soldiers from a Kursk-based air defence unit who may have knowledge of the movements of the missile launcher that destroyed the Boeing 777 on July 17, 2014.

About 20 of those individuals would “likely have had direct involvement” in the deployment to east Ukraine that led to the shoot down and  298 civilian deaths.

The fact that Russia has vetoed a full investigation in to this attack, doesn’t , in my opinion, put them in a great light.That said the Ukranian government also has a lot to answer for.

My aim is not to put the blame to anyone, my aim is for justice to be done for the victims. I’d written a poem for the victims and have pledged to regularly post this poem on several social media outlets to make sure the victims aren’t forgotten.

298 a number that we always will remember
298 lives that have been lost
298 of friends and family members.
298 souls eternally loved

 

298 ambitions and dreams cut short
298 innocent moments in time
298 families that need our support
298 victims of 1 brutal crime

 

298 new stars in the sky
298 reasons to pray
298 tears to cry
298 respects to pay

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