Terror in Brussels reminded me of NI

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No political or religious cause can justify terror as witnessed recently in Brussels, and indeed in Northern Ireland where we had the recent republican murder of a much respected prison officer.

I was in Brussels on March 20 when the Islamic state terrorists struck, targeting the airport and metro system in the Belgian capital and, there, the atmosphere among ordinary citizens was one of great foreboding and apprehension.

It was a scene reminiscent of what we had to tragically endure in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

If a settled peace is to prevail, the purveyors of terrorism across Europe mainland, and particularly here in Northern Ireland, need to be confronted with full vigour by our law-enforcement agencies, both on the ground and in intelligence surveillance.

Regrettably, over the past few days there have been naked propaganda displays and glorification of Irish republican terrorism on the streets of both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Such posturings act as a barrier to democracy and the accepted rule of law.

Jim Nicholson, Ulster Unionist MEP