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Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK


Police chase bomb appeal leads

Holdall clue: A sports bag like the one which contained the bomb

Police say they have had a "tremendous" response to a televised appeal for help to catch the Brixton nail bomber - and that a prime suspect has emerged.

Scotland Yard asked the public on Tuesday's BBC One's Crimewatch UK programme for information about Saturday's bombing, which injured 48 people.

The BBC's Jason Kay: "The police investigation has taken a step forward"
Detectives, who offered a £10,000 reward for new information, said the appeal prompted "a good number of calls", although it was too early to say how useful they would be.

Callers to the show told police about people in the area at the time of the attack, and gave information about the nails used in the bomb.

One caller reported people, equipped with binoculars, on a rooftop.

Prime suspect

The explosion, in the south London borough's Electric Avenue, has been comdemned by the government.

Among the victims was a 23-month-old baby, who was sent home from hospital on Tuesday after having a nail removed from his head.

The boy is expected to make a full recovery, but 10 people remain in hospital and there are fears that two of the most seriously injured may be blinded.

[ image: The bomb left 48 injured]
The bomb left 48 injured
Detectives also appealed for help with catching their "prime suspect".

On Monday a man saying he was from the extreme right-wing group Combat 18 rang police and claimed to have planted the bomb.

But police are treating the call with "extreme caution".

The Metropolitan Police's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Fry warned Crimewatch viewers they should not discount anyone they suspect simply because they did not hold right-wing views.

"This person may be a renegade member, and someone on the fringe of the group may know who has done this act. Or it could be a loner," he said.

"If you know of anyone who has recently been acting suspiciously and out-of-character, reading literature on bomb making, or maybe even buying large amounts of nails and a sports bag, we would ask you to contact us.

"I have no doubt this person would have experimented and detonated devices before this act."

  • Anyone with information should contact the police, in confidence, on the anti-terrorist branch hotline on 0800 789321, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

  • The police can also be contacted through Crimewatch UK, by emailing

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