Mistaken identity: Journalist, IRA bomber have same name

Special to World
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

TEL AVIV The Israeli arrest of a suspected Irish Republican Army bomber was apparently a case of mistaken identity.

Israeli security sources said the arrest of John Morgan, 40, over the weekend near Ramallah was apparently a case of mistaken identity. They said Britain had relayed information to Israel that Morgan was an IRA bomber who might have been hired to train Palestinian insurgents in the assembly of bombs and mortars.

The sources said the man arrested over the weekend has been identified as a journalist and supporter of the International Solidarity Movement, which has sent so-called human shields to protect Palestinians from Israeli military operations. Morgan does not have any connection with the IRA, the sources said.

The man being held in Israeli detention and the IRA bomber share the same name, the sources said. They said they expect Morgan, who arrived in Israel more than weeks ago and spent much of his time in the Jenin area of the northern West Bank, to be released.

Israel has been on alert for the arrival of Islamic insurgents or their supporters who seek entry in the guise of Western, particularly British, tourists. The sources said Hizbullah has been trying to send Western nationals to Israel to carry out a major attack against a civilian installation.

Hizbullah is said to have maintained financing of Palestinian insurgency attacks despite the truce declared late last month. On early Tuesday, a man identified as a member of the ruling Fatah movement attacked a crowded Tel Aviv restaurant and knifed to death one Israel. The Palestinian, a resident of the Jerusalem suburb of Azariyah, was shot and wounded.

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