Bomb Attacks: Five hurt as charity group is focus for second raid: Anti-terrorist police sifting through the wreckage of the car that contained the bomb which exploded in Finchley, north London, early yesterday Photograph: Edward Sykes
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Thursday 28 July 1994
Five people, including two girls in a passing car, were injured when the car bomb exploded. The JIA's Balfour House office is one of the largest charity organisations raising funds for the Jewish community. Other Jewish groups also operate from the Finchley offices.
As with the earlier Kensington embassy bomb, windows exploded and showered glass over a half- mile radius. Parked cars had their windscreens destroyed, while residents described their houses as having been violently shaken.
Although it was late and the streets were relatively quiet, the second bomb produced a repeat of many of the scenes which had been witnessed in the busier district around the Israeli embassy 13 hours previously. After the embassy bomb, Scotland Yard confirmed that added security measures would be imposed on potential Jewish targets.
However, the Finchley offices, after close of business, were only routinely patrolled by local officers. Cars were still allowed to park outside despite calls from leading Jewish groups that parking restrictions should be immediately imposed. The bomb exploded when police officers were patrolling away from Balfour House. A witness, Paul Clifford, 18, said he was standing at a bus stop 25 yards from the explosion. 'There was a huge bang which seemed to deafen you for a few seconds. It echoed down the street and a car went up in a huge explosion.'
Mr Clifford said he was shaken off his feet with shattered glass spread over 100 metres lying in the street. He described two girls standing at a bus stop. One second they were waiting for a late bus, he said, 'the next, they were just screaming'.
One of the girls, Alison Gale, 17, said: 'We just ran screaming. There was a car blown to bits.'
Themis Michaelidou, 47, a photographer, said she heard the blast at her home several miles away in Montpelier Grove, Kentish Town, north London.
All that was left of the car was a burnt-out chassis. Police forensic teams were still examing the vehicle yesterday.
The front windows of the three- storey offices were blown out. The building had been strengthened with double doors and had a security guard behind bulletproof glass.
Alan Fox, executive chairman of the JIA, said yesterday: 'We have always felt, being a major Jewish organisation, that we could well be a potential target.
'After yesterday's events we felt we could be next.'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...