Jiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1370 times:
A bomb has exploded in a car in Birmingham city centre.
The blast happened at 2230 GMT on Saturday close to New Street railway station, police said.
Police suspect an Irish dissident group is responsible - a warning was given but it was received too late to deactivate the device, officers said.
Officers attending the scene received minor injuries but no-one else was hurt.
Bomb disposal experts and Metropolitan Police officers are at the site, on Smallbrook Queensway.
Decontamination experts were also called to the scene after initial fears that anthrax was involved, although this was later ruled out.
Chief Inspector Ellie Bird, of West Midlands Police, said: "Early indications are that this is the work of an Irish dissident group.
"We did receive a warning, however that was far too late. We are concerned this could have had serious consequences."
She added: "It cannot and should not be connected with the incidents in America on 11 September."
Birmingham was the target of one of the Provisional IRA's worst atrocities when two pubs were blown up in 1974, leaving 21 people dead and scores injured.
No group has admitted responsibility for Saturday night's blast although suspicions are likely to fall on republican dissident group the Real IRA.
Chief Inspector Bird said initial eyewitnesses described seeing a white powder coming from rear of the vehicle and the emergency services feared an anthrax attack.
Two or three police officers were decontaminated as a precaution before it became apparent that the blast was the work of an Irish dissident group, she said.
Police were now conducting a thorough investigation into the explosion and a 1,000-metre cordon had been placed around the blast site.
"Until we are satisfied that it's safe, it will remain sealed off," she said.
Chief Inspector Bird said the explosion had taken place on a busy street in the heart of Birmingham city centre at a time when many people were heading for nearby nightspots.
Hotels and other premises in the area have been evacuated by police as a precaution in the event of another explosion, she told the BBC.
The blast appeared to have caused minimal damage and the car, which was not totally destroyed, was believed to have been an Audi.
"We are very relieved that there have been no serious injuries. It's very fortunate that there have been no casualties," said Ms Bird.
She said a coded warning had been received by an organisation - not the police nor the emergency services - that an explosive device had been placed in the area.
The blast came just hours after politicians in Northern Ireland found a way to rescue the peace process, which was thrown into disarray when David Trimble failed to be re-elected as the province's first minister.
Members of the cross-community Alliance Party - which represents both moderate Roman Catholics and Protestants - have decided to re-designate themselves as Unionists in a bid to save the Good Friday Agreement.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13319 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1340 times:
Let's hope that the US stands 'shoulder to shoulder' with us on this, and goes after the fundraisers in the US. The 'Real IRA' sell calenders of themselves posing with guns in the States to raise money.
Sold to pricks who couldn't even find the place on a map, and get their history lessons from films like 'Braveheart' and 'The Patriot'.
When the Povisional IRA started up in the 1970's, they forgot to tell their US fundraisers that they were a Marxist group. Funny that.
Even after the IRA men were found in Columbia, with the FARC terrorists, it only reduced, not stopped US support. But seeing some US politicans who previously sympathised with them going all mealy-mouthed was priceless.
Gerry Adams, who despite his past, is probably geniune in his peacemaking, admitted that the Columbia incident, along with Sept. 11th, undermined his work in the US. It also showed that not all Provisional IRA members were really on ceasefire, raising the prospect of more defections to the Real IRA, and calling into question Adam's own influence with the Provo's. They weren't in Columbia for the coffee, that's for sure.
Loser actor Mickey Rourke, an IRA supporter like some other Hollywood idiots, went to Northern Ireland in the 1980's when the war was on.
His guide told him they could not go to an area because it was Unionist, (the majority of the Northern Irish population who want to remain British), he said 'who are the Unionists?'
Says it all.
While most people I know here support the UK involvement in Afghanistan, the subject of US support for the IRA in the past is still a sore point, even after you explain that it was never the US goverment, just deluded groups of citizens and a few politicans out for some votes in specific areas.
But, the UK will have to do a lot more about Muslim extremists here, so it's not a one-war street, it's our interests too though.
Jaspike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 1 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1319 times:
The car bomb that rocked Birmingham city centre on Saturday night would have caused "very serious loss of life" had the device had detonated fully.
West Midlands police confirmed that it was similar in size to the devices planted outside BBC Television Centre in London and at Ealing Broadway earlier this year.
But this time only the detonator exploded, leaving surrounding cars and buildings untouched and up to 30kg of explosives intact.
It was "probably" the work of the Real IRA, the republican group blamed for the previous attacks, the police confirmed.
The car in which the Birmingham device was planted is a beige Audi coupe, registration number E303 TOV, and police are appealing for help in tracing its owners.
They also want to hear from any potential witnesses who were in the vicinity of the blast, which happened at 2239GMT on Saturday.
The device exploded close to New Street railway station, but no-one was injured despite the area being packed with revellers.
Police immediately ruled out any link to the 11 September attacks - saying a warning was given, but too late to deactivate the device.
Ealier, Chief Constable of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Sir Ronnie Flanagan indicated that the Real IRA was the main suspect for the bomb blast.
He told BBC's Breakfast with Frost: "Even though it is at an early stage, we do believe it is a dissident grouping - probably that group that is behind this.
"They want to demonstrate that they are still there."
Bomb disposal experts have sealed off a 1,000m area around the site, on Smallbrook Queensway.
Decontamination experts were also called to the scene after passers-by reported seeing white powder come from the car, covering nearby police officers.
But use of anthrax was ruled out. The substance was believed to be stuffing from the car's seats.
The blast came just hours after politicians in Northern Ireland found a way to rescue the peace process, which was thrown into disarray when David Trimble failed to be re-elected as first minister.
Northern Ireland Secretary Dr John Reid said the Birmingham attack was an attempt to prevent the province from finding a resolution.
He told BBC's Breakfast with Frost: "Where there's instability in the democratic institutions then the men of violence will try to wreck this peace process.
"We saw it last night again in the course of the night in Birmingham."
Recent mainland dissident attacks
June 2000: Hammersmith Bridge, London
Sept 2000: MI6 building, London
Mar 2001: BBC Television Centre, London
Apr 2001 Hendon post office, London
May 2001: Hendon post office again
August 2001: Ealing, London
Security in the city is being stepped up, especially with many high-profile guests arriving for the CBI's annual conference, including Chancellor Gordon Brown.
Birmingham was the target of one of the Provisional IRA's worst atrocities when two pubs were blown up in 1974, leaving 21 people dead and scores injured. The pubs stood just 150 yards from the site of the latest blast.
The BBC's Yvette Shapiro said forensic experts were examining the scene and debris to see if it could be linked a particular terror group.
The Real IRA, who are opposed to the IRA ceasefire, are believed to be behind a string of attacks on the mainland in recent months, including a car bomb in Ealing High Street in West London last August. Seven people were injured.