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The BBC's Peter Hunt
"Nothing will be overlooked"
 real 56k

Jack Straw, Home Secretary
"This could have led to very considerable loss of life"
 real 28k

Andrew Mackay, Conservative NI spokesman
"There has been no decommissioning of illegally held arms and explosives"
 real 28k

Sean O'Callaghan, IRA defector
"The two people behind this campaign are well known"
 real 28k

Monday, 5 March, 2001, 05:56 GMT
UK braced for bomb campaign
A taxi explodes outside BBC Television Centre
Police have warned of a campaign of violence
Anti-terrorist measures are being stepped up nationwide after a car bomb attack on BBC Television Centre in west London.

The country has been put on full scale alert after Scotland Yard warned that more attacks are planned.

No group has yet admitted carrying out Sunday's bomb but police say the attack was part of a campaign by dissident Irish republicans from the Real IRA.

A London Underground worker was slightly injured when the bomb in a taxi parked outside Television Centre exploded.


I have no doubt that this blast is part of a campaign or series of attacks affecting the mainland and Northern Ireland

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Fry
Experts will continue a thorough examination of the taxi's wreckage in an attempt to find evidence of who was responsible.

Home Secretary Jack Straw warned that any campaign must not succeed in bringing down the Northern Ireland peace process.

"What is crucially important is that we don't allow this kind of mindless attack, which could have led to a very considerable loss of life, to disrupt that process," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Police have suggested that the bomb may have been a reprisal for a BBC Panorama documentary which named four men it alleged had questions to answer over the Omagh bombing.

Click here for events leading up to the blast

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Fry, head of Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch said the attack was being linked to three incidents in London last year, including the missile attack on the MI6 building.

Richard Sambrook, director of BBC News
Richard Sambrook: BBC security tightened

"I have no doubt that this blast is part of a campaign or series of attacks affecting the mainland and Northern Ireland," he added.

Richard Sambrook, director of BBC News, said security had been stepped up, and the need for further precautions was being reviewed.

'Change of tactics'

He added: "The bomb may be connected to the Panorama on Omagh and it may not, we simply do not know yet.

Bomb damage at Television Centre
The bomb exploded yards from Television Centre's main reception
"The BBC has done tough journalism about Northern Irish terrorism for many years and will continue to do it."

This latest attack has also led to new calls from Unionist politicians for tighter security within Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Unionist Party has only just announced that it was stepping up sanctions against Sinn Fein because the Provisional IRA had failed to disarm.

Politicians in London, Dublin and Belfast will assess on Monday whether the parties who support the peace process are ready to meet again.

Omagh bombing
Was the attack a reprisal for Panorama's coverage of Omagh bombing?

Police want to speak to a man who is described as white, in his 30s, 6ft tall, wearing a short jacket and baseball cap, with a Northern Irish accent.

He bought the red taxi (reg D902 GYH) for 300.

And police have also warned everyone to beware of suspicious packages or vehicles.

Officers were carrying out a controlled explosion on a bomb in a taxi when it went off at 0030GMT.

A coded warning was received by a London hospital and an unnamed charitable trust at about 2320GMT on Saturday.

Traffic congestion is expected to continue on Monday as Wood Lane remains closed.

The Central Line will be running but White City station will be shut.

Police are keeping an open mind about possible links between the blast and an explosion at a nearby Territorial Army barracks in February, which blinded a 14-year-old cadet.

Anyone with information to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321.



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See also:

21 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Missile caused MI6 blast
19 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Bomb found on tube line
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