It was "clearly a big device"
March 3, 2001 10:48 PM   Subscribe

It was "clearly a big device", which contained high explosives. Set by what appears to be the IRA outside of the BBC headquarters in London. Clues were given via coded messages phoned into a hospital and an "unnamed charitable trust" much in the same way as when the M16 building was attacked with a rocket last year. Forget Osama bin-laden. The Irish can be dangerous as well.
posted by liquidgnome (20 comments total)
'Twould be nice if you Europeans could stop killing each other over land and religion and start killing over race and ethnicity like we Americans do.

I swear, sometimes I think you people haven't evolved at ALL....
posted by Capn_Stuby at 11:40 PM on March 3, 2001

It wasn't the IRA; it was the Real IRA, the tiny ultrahardcore splinter group that refuses to have anything to do with the peace agreement.
posted by aaron at 11:50 PM on March 3, 2001

The Irish can be dangerous as well.

What, all of them?
posted by ceiriog at 5:41 AM on March 4, 2001

From brainsluice:

"I'd just taken my headphones off last night when I heard two loud bangs: a car bomb had exploded outside the BBC Television Centre in White City (one tube stop to the east). Once it sinks in that it wasn't a car crashing or backfiring, your heart skips a beat and you literally freeze - a very unsettling experience. The pictures bring it home even more. Suddenly the prospect of moving to an NW postcode seems just that extra bit appealing."
posted by brainsluice at 7:05 AM on March 4, 2001

As a friend of mine said about a previous bomb explosion in London... 'This is far to close to home'. I use the White City Tube station and main entrance to BBC Television Centre every weekday to get into work ... the servers I administer are about 5 floors above where the bomb exploded... (I checked the servers out this morning remotely -- they were still up)

Check out these photos...

Vaughan -- another Brit Blogger has also posted about the bomb going off...

Thank god nobody was badly injured.
posted by LMG at 7:38 AM on March 4, 2001

Yes, the Irish are terrible. Even though this could easily have been carried out by just one person, I am certain that the nation as a whole was behind the planning and implementation of this attack.

Hell, I'm sure a couple ex-pats came over from Boston just to gas the damn car up!
posted by Mick at 10:30 AM on March 4, 2001

As far as I'm concerned, the threat of terrorist bombs is really a part of daily life. I was evacuated from the 1996 IRA explosion that devastated Manchester city centre (and precipitated a massive scheme of regeneration), had friends who witnessed the Warrington bomb, also only a few miles away from my home town, that claimed the lives of two young children. My parents' apartment building was bombed by the IRA around 1977/78, when they lived in London. We had at least twice-yearly bomb drills in addition to fire drills at school. And don't even get me started on the bomb scares that routinely made me late for work. So whilst it's certainly shocking, it's important to remember that actually it's not *that* rare an occurence over here.
posted by kitschbitch at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2001

Yep that's right, we Irish are terrible, me included.

I think you should rephrase your comment, don't you think, Liquidgnome?

To folks in London, I'm sorry that people who think they are acting in the name of the Irish people carry out such attacks. I'm ashamed of them.

To folks not familiar with the whole history of the troubles, the Real IRA are an ultra right wing, totalling no more than 100 people, who have broken away from the Provisional IRA and who refuse to have anything to do with the peace agreement.
posted by tomcosgrave at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2001

liquidgnome's choice of words was ... rather poorly thought through, to say the least. First, that link was to a URL that had unrelated content by the time I got to it (keep this in mind when linking to newspapers ahead of US time, they often roll over while we're still catching up with the day's posts). Second, even the government of the Republic of Ireland takes a dim view of the Real IRA. Indeed, citizens of Ireland tend to support the Catholic terrorists much less than even Irish immigrant to the US (maybe because the violence is closer to home).

A little more on the Real IRA, from a fairly objective source.
posted by dhartung at 12:21 PM on March 4, 2001

Those damn Catholics!
posted by Mick at 12:32 PM on March 4, 2001

One only gets so much space to comment, so my apologies for appearing to berate the Irish as a whole. Let me rephrase that: Beware of the Germans.

It's a frightening thing to me to know that it's "not all that uncommon of a thing" to have terrorist attacks by one faction of a nation's people against another. As an American, I'm constantly reminded that the biggest threat to our national security is Osama Bin-Laden, who is quite obviously not from America. I'm sure he's got his reasons for his hate, just as I'm sure that the "real" IRA has their reasons for setting bombs in front of the BBC.

As far as the government of the Republic of Ireland taking a dim view of the Real IRA... Why shouldn't they? Is there any government in the Western world that would advocate or at least condone citizen-on-citizen terrorist tactics?

Be any of this as it may, the act itself doesn't make any sense to me.
posted by liquidgnome at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2001

Don't mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right.
posted by aaron at 1:39 PM on March 4, 2001

Heh. Flowery Twats to you, too, aaron. ;-)
posted by dhartung at 7:39 PM on March 4, 2001

I think that the caption of one of these pictures says a lot about the situation over there.

At first light the damage could be seen in the bomb-proof glass at the front of the building.

The fact that a TV studio having bomb-proof glass sounds so strange to me here in the US gives some insight into the difference of our positions.

posted by donkeymon at 9:20 PM on March 4, 2001

Oh yeah? Well, Farty Towels to you!

The fact that a TV studio having bomb-proof glass sounds so strange to me here in the US gives some insight into the difference of our positions.

The street-level studios of Today, GMA and The Early Show all have bomb- and bullet-proof glass.

posted by aaron at 11:59 PM on March 4, 2001

The security's necessary, not just because it's a television studio, but because of what it does. In short, there's a regular stream of visitors who need to be protected and/or screened by virtue of their positions, terrorist threat or not. And not just the pols and such who visit: the murder of Jill Dando proved that.

(You were at News Online, LMG? I did some work there, and was quite impressed by the security. Though I'm convinced it's mainly to protect the Blue Peter garden.)
posted by holgate at 2:44 AM on March 5, 2001

Holgate - No I work for the BBC's TV Post Production Department which has office space above news.
posted by LMG at 4:56 AM on March 5, 2001

I'm concerned by the move to attack the BBC : was it as a national institution or as a news provider?

I unfortunately work for a DMGT (Daily Mail & General Trust) company... as a right-wing tabloid, maybe we're next.

An aside: I was very near Brick lane when the nail bomb attack happened; it is very scary, but London has never been free of terrorism. Just take the huge bomb in Docklands a few years back ; a miracle nobody was injured. Dogmatism and violence are an ugly combination.
posted by blastboy at 6:29 AM on March 5, 2001

I'm concerned by the move to attack the BBC : was it as a national institution or as a news provider?

Most likely a combination of easy publicity (get on the news instantly by attacking the news building) and retribution, as the Panorama programme named the chief suspects for the Omagh bombing.
posted by holgate at 6:43 AM on March 5, 2001

Frankly, too many Americans know next to nothing about the troubles in N. Ireland. The only time it's mentioned is when a bomb goes off somewhere. For a good account of the troubles from a non-biased view i would recommend this book.

posted by jbelshaw at 6:44 AM on March 5, 2001

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