Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Loyalist Michael Stone has sparked controversy by declaring that the Islamic extremists who bombed London were not "mass murderers"

Stephen Breen:

Although 52 people lost their lives in the underground and bus blasts on July 7, Stone refused to label the suicide bombers as evil.

The killer-turned-artist, who was in London at the time of the blasts, told Sunday Life the suicide bombers were "noble" men.

Said Stone: "These men were not criminals - they paid the ultimate sacrifice for an ideology which they believed very strongly in.

"I'm aware the relatives of those who died in the blasts might not be too happy with my views, but I am just trying to understand the motivation behind their actions.

"I condemn the fact they did not target a military, political or economic target and the fact innocent people lost their lives, but I can't see them as mass murderers."

The former UFF hitman will outline his controversial views in a special television programme next Thursday. Along with members of Hamas, the Afghan mujahedeen and others, Stone was interviewed by BBC's Horizon for a programme about terrorist psychology.

But it is Stone's shock views on the London bombers which are set to cause the most controversy.

He admitted that the programme makers were "stunned" by his views about the bombings in the capital.

Added Stone: "They filmed me for about five hours at a secret location but they couldn't believe it when I outlined my views on the London bombings.

"These people are from London and were completely stunned by my opinions, but I stand by them.

"The English public might not be too happy with the views but I stand by them. The suicide bombers are not like serial killers."

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