Real IRA bombs BBC TV Centre
The continuing threat from Irish republican terrorists was demonstrated clearly during a short bombing campaign that began with the March 4 2001 attack on BBC’s Television Centre in White City, and continued with explosions in Ealing and Birmingham later in the year. Although the major groupings on both sides of the sectarian divide had formally or effectively laid down their weapons by this time, ‘dissident elements’ remained determined to continue what they saw and see as a war against the British.
A warning had been phoned to two organisations prior to the explosion, but this gave little more than an hour in which to communicate with the emergency services and evacuate the threatened area late on a Saturday night – the bomb actually exploded half an hour after midnight. The device, in a taxi parked outside the building, went off while a robot was being used to try to effect a controlled detonation.
Four men and a youth were convicted at the Old Bailey in 2003 of carrying out the campaign, receiving lengthy prison sentences for their activities.
Happily only one man was injured by the blast, though it caused serious disruptions to weekend underground services, and caused external damage to the BBC’s Wood Lane building
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