Chiswick Man Killed in Terrorist Attack

Al-Qaida target 'mastermind of British Policy' Roger Short



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Rev. Jim Dainty's prayer for Roger Short


Britain's top diplomat in Istanbul was one of at least 27 victims of a terrorist bomb attack in the city this week. When not serving overseas he and his family had been residents of Chiswick since 1989. His wife, Vikki, narrowly escaped death in the blast.

Described by those who knew him as kind, cheerful and wise, Mr Short was on his last posting before retirement although he had been considering returning to work as a teacher.

After joining the diplomatic service from Oxford his first posting was to Turkey in 1969. A long and distinguished career which saw him become ambassador to Sofia in 1994 and chief of staff in Sarajevo came full circle when he returned to Istanbul as Consul-General.

His socialibilty and fluency in both Greek and Turkish meant he was both popular host and an effective diplomat.

Along with his wife he was a regular church-goer and was well-known at Christ Church on Turnham Green. The Rev. Jim Dainty, Vicar of Christ Church asked people to pray for Mr Short and his family. You can read the text of his prayer here.

A statement purportedly from a unit of Osama bib Laden's al-Qaida network appeared on an Islamist web site after the attack saying, "the vanguards of the Abu Hafz al-Masri Brigades targeted the British Consul, Roger Short, because of his extensive experience in combating Islam and because he is considered the mastermind of British policy in the region comprising Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran."

November 22, 2003