Real IRA threatens to resume bombing campaign in mainland UK
The Real IRA has declared UK banks and bankers as legitimate targets in its campaign of terrorism to achieve a united Ireland. In written answers to questions by the Guardian newspaper, the Real IRA branded bankers as "criminals [who]... serve in financing Britain's colonial and capital system".
The Guardian article published today (15 September 2010) says the Real IRA "stressed" that future attacks would be planned around military, political and economic targets. The article also says that Real IRA (RIRA) leaders promised to "intensify the group's terror campaign on all fronts". The RIRA says it has "regrouped and reorganised".
The article questions RIRA's capabilities to deliver on these threats, however. It cites security sources who say RIRA "lacks the logistical resources" to undertake bombing campaigns on the scale of those perpetrated by the Provisional IRA in England in the 1990s.
The Real IRA executed a campaign of bombings in England in 2000 and 2001, injuring 10 people and causing minor disruptions. No one was killed during this campaign. Casualties could have been much greater had a 60lb car bomb planted in Birmingham city centre exploded. The Real IRA's bombings and attempted bombings in England are outlined below in this summary from Wikipedia:
On 1 June 2000 a bomb damaged Hammersmith Bridge; a symbolic target for Irish republican paramilitary groups. The bridge had previously been targeted by the Irish Republican Army on 29 March 1939 as part of its Sabotage Campaign, and by the Provisional IRA on 24 April 1996. One month later on 19 July, security forces carried out a controlled explosion on a bomb left at Ealing Broadway station and public transport was disrupted when the Metropolitan Police closed Victoria and Paddington train stations and halted services on the London Underground. On 21 September a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the MI6 headquarters using an RPG-22 rocket launcher, which generated headlines around the world.
On 21 February 2001 a bomb disguised as a torch left outside a Territorial Army base in Shepherd's Bush seriously injured a 14-year-old cadet, who was blinded and had his hand blown off. A second attack in Shepherd's Bush, the 4 March BBC bombing, injured a civilian outside the BBC Television Centre. The explosion was captured by a BBC cameraman, and the footage was broadcast on TV stations worldwide, and gained mass publicity for the group. On 14 April a bomb exploded at a postal sorting office in Hendon, causing minor damage but no injuries. Three weeks later on 6 May a second bomb exploded at the same building, causing slight injuries to a passer-by.
The 3 August Ealing bombing injured seven people, and on 3 November a car bomb containing 60 lb of home-made explosives was planted in the centre of Birmingham. The bomb did not fully detonate and no one was injured.
Related video from Al Jazeera's Jonathan Hull:
From the Politico archive: Magill's September 1998 edition on the Omagh bombing which killed 29 people in August that year.