BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Sunday, 5 August, 2001, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Ealing bombers 'will be caught'
The hunt for evidence is due to continue through Sunday
The chief constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary has said he has "no doubt" that those responsible for the Ealing bomb would be brought to justice - if the public was prepared to help.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan was speaking as residents gathered for a church service just yards from a police cordon surrounding the scene of the blast in west London.

Officers investigating the attack say they should have finished their search for forensic evidence by Sunday night.

Two people are still being treated in hospital for injuries caused by Friday's blast.

The public must be vigilant - and must alert the police - when they see suspicious activity, whether it is in Britain, Northern Ireland or the Republic

Sir Ronnie Flanagan,
RUC Chief Constable
Sir Ronnie, speaking from Belfast, told the BBC's Breakfast With Frost programme that the public must translate its outrage "into determination to work in partnership with us".

He said he had "suspicions" about those responsible for the bomb, but added that "thankfully in a liberal democracy intelligence is not evidence".

"That is why it is of crucial importance that the public at large continually work in partnership with us."

Click here to see a map of the blast area

He said the RUC, working with the Metropolitan, Irish and international police, had had "a whole range of breakthroughs" in combating the dissident Irish republican organisation, the Real IRA.

"That has certainly thwarted their intentions and minimised the effect that they can bring about," he said.

"That is no comfort whatever to the victims of incidents when they do succeed - but people should realise these are problems that the police alone cannot solve."

Bomb-damaged buildings in Ealing
Repair costs could run into millions of pounds
A congregation of about 100 took part in Sunday's service at the parish church of Christ the Saviour in Ealing.

Shortly before it began, assistant priest Peter Needham said: "It is important that this service happens every Sunday.

"If this service is stopped then the bombers have their way because they stop the freedom of our own minds and souls."

Some people are expected to be able to return to the scene of the blast on Monday, with police supervision, to inspect their properties and recover belongings.

John Birch, of Ealing Council, said: "For a lot of people there is a return to normality ... but I must stress public safety still remains paramount in delivering that."

Mr Birch said initial assessments had shown no buildings in the area needed to be demolished.

But the BBC's crime correspondent Stephen Cape said some owners may consider demolition and reconstruction cheaper than repair and refurbishment.

Bus ticket

Earlier, it was reported that police had found a bus ticket which could help lead them to the bombers.

The ticket - containing a fingerprint believed to belong to a dissident republican - was found near the scene of the BBC bomb blast in March.

Car bomb
Grey Saab 9000 turbo five door
Registration E304 HPY
Possibly parked around 2300BST
Warning given at 2333BST
40kg device was twice size of March's BBC bomb
It is thought the BBC attackers escaped into central London on a bus after leaving the explosive in a taxi parked outside Television Centre.

The ticket is timed and dated to within an hour of the bomb being planted and was found in a skip full of rubbish from the bus, the Sunday Times reported.

Scotland Yard's Anti-terrorist branch believes there are two Real IRA "cells" operating in southern England, other newspaper reports said.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that detectives were studying footage from cameras along the M40 in the belief the bombers may have travelled to London from the Oxford area.

Good response

Hundreds of security video systems are being examined for signs of the bomber who left the grey Saab 9000 outside busy high street pubs.

The bomb - containing up to 40kg of homemade explosive - blew up near Ealing Broadway railway station seconds after midnight on Friday.

It caused widespread damage in a 200m radius minutes before 150 people were about to leave a karaoke night at the nearest pub.

Anyone with information about the man or vehicle is urged to contact police on 0800 789321.

Click here to return
The BBC's Christine Stewart
"The extent of the destruction is beginning to be revealed"
The BBC's Stephen Cape in Ealing Broadway
"They're looking for a breakthrough"
Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Royal Ulster Constabulary
"We need full public co-operation"
See also:

03 Aug 01 | UK
Survivors' tales of terror
03 Aug 01 | UK
Blair condemns bombers
02 Aug 01 | Northern Ireland
Dissidents blamed for airport bomb
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories