IRA hired bomb bikes in London: Police say first warnings received only four hours after men left cycle shop

Click to follow
The Independent Online
(First Edition)

TWO bicycles used in the IRA bomb attacks in Bognor Regis and Brighton, Sussex, last weekend were hired in London, police revealed said yesterday.

POLICE have traced the origins of the two bikes used in the IRA's south coast bomb attacks, it was revealed yesterday.

The mountain bikes were hired in central London last Saturday, just hours before they were used to conceal bombs left in Bognor Regis and Brighton in Sussex.

Two men, one with an Irish accent, hired the bikes from the Mountain Bike and Ski Company in Gillingham Street, Victoria, a few hours before the first warnings were received, Sussex police said.

Detectives are now working with staff at the shop to produce descriptions. Assistant Chief Constable Richard Childs said police were anxious to find out how the men got the bikes from the capital London to the south coast, after hiring them about noon.

'It is vital that we find out how these bicycles arrived in our county,' he said.

The Bognor device shattered windows in a pedestrian shopping precinct area which was busy with people only shortly before. Police later carried out a controlled explosion of a 5lb (2.3kg) device found at the entrance to the Palace Pier, Brighton. Officers said if it had exploded it would have caused death and destruction within a 50-yard radius. Both bombs were left in pannier bags on the blue mountain bikes.