Police track IRA bombers

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The Independent Online

Crime Correspondent

The terrorists responsible for the bomb in Docklands, east London, spent several days travelling down from Scotland to London on a carefully planned route, it was disclosed yesterday.

Anti-terrorist officers, using information provided by the public and intelligence sources, have been piecing together the movements of the IRA bombers.

The blue flat-bed lorry with false number plates, which was used to carry the explosive device, was brought over to the mainland by ferry from the Co Antrim port of Larne, and landed in Stranraer on the west coast of Scotland.

On 7 and 8 February, it was taken from Stranraer to Carlisle and then to South Mimms, Hertfordshire. At some time, a red trailer with the Irish registration 5157B1, which is believed to have come from a cut- down Ford cargo truck, was loaded on to it. The trailer was in Britain from January.

On Friday, the day of the explosion, the truck was at South Mimms at 8am, before travelling to wasteland at River Road, Barking, Essex. Here, the trailer was unloaded and at about 4pm, the bomb was primed and the truck driven to South Quay where it was abandoned on a road close to the light railway station. At 7.01pm it exploded.

Police are appealing for any further information about the route of the vehicles and the drivers. The police hotline for information is on 0800 789321.