Monday, April 19, 1999 Published at 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Combat 18's hardline racism
Combat 18 was an off-shoot of the BNP
If the nail bomb in Brixton and the new attack in Brick Lane was sent by the far-right group Combat 18, it marks a significant escalation in the group's tactics.
The highly secretive organisation has attracted notoriety in the past - particularly after it claimed to have organised fighting at the England-Ireland football match at Lansdowne Road in 1995.
In 1997, the underground group was back in the news after Danish police seized three letter bombs hidden in videocassettes and destined for London addresses. Combat 18 was believed to have been behind the operation.
Far-right rivals were targeted but celebrities including former swimmer Sharron Davies also found themselves on the hit-list.
Tottenham Hotspur owner Alan Sugar was also said to have been targeted, as were MPs Paddy Ashdown and Peter Hain, and journalists Anna Ford and Bernard Levin.
Last month British police carried out a series of raids on members of the neo-Nazi group, seizing computer disks, weapons and ammunition.
In 1997, three members were jailed at the Old Bailey for possessing racist publications, and later that year, Mark Atkinson was jailed for publishing its Stormer magazine.
Atkinson was caught with hundreds of copies of the 12-page magazine, described by Judge George Bathurst-Norman, as containing "vile out-pourings of hatred and incitement to violence".
One of the magazine's targets was Lynette Bruno, the elderly mother of boxer Frank Bruno.
Members of the group are believed to call the UK government "Zog", standing for "Zionist Occupation Government", and base their philosophy on hard-line racism and opposition to immigration.
It rejects the approach of some previous racist groups of persuading people to join its cause, preferring direct action instead. Membership has been estimated at between 40 and 200.
Charlie Sargent, a one-time leader of the group, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for the murder of a fellow Combat 18 member, told Nick Ryan of the Independent on Sunday: "I don't vote. What's the point? I'm not gonna play their f****** silly little games _ Race not Nation - we're not British nationalists, we're racialists."
This is an attitude consistent with the group's slogan "White revolution is the only solution".
But Gerry Gable, publisher of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, was sceptical of any Combat 18 involvement in the Brixton bombing.
"If you look at what's happened to them recently, they've been so well infiltrated by the police, the army and anti-fascists like us, they couldn't sneeze without us knowing," said Mr Gable
But he did not rule out that the attack could have been racially motivated.
"If it's a racial attack, it could be someone who has been in Combat 18 has got increasingly frustrated with the lack of action and decided to do it themselves. The technology needed to make a bomb is so simple and easy to find," he said.