Renegade bombers may strike again in London

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The Independent Online

A dissident Irish republican terrorist unit believed to be responsible for two recent bombs in London is probably planning to set off more powerful devices in the capital, security sources said yesterday.

A dissident Irish republican terrorist unit believed to be responsible for two recent bombs in London is probably planning to set off more powerful devices in the capital, security sources said yesterday.

Scotland Yard believes the breakaway group, the Real IRA, planted the bombs on Hammersmith Bridge on 1 June and the railway line at Ealing Broadway on 19 July.

Security sources said a team of terrorists was almost certainly operating from England or travelling regularly to the mainland from Ireland to plan attacks. It is believed that former IRA members who have joined the dissident faction are recruiting and training young sympathisers.

Anti-terrorist security in London has been tightened during the past few months as fears have mounted about a new bombing campaign. A senior security source said: "We have to accept the very real possibility that there's a team operating here in Britain. I would predict that these bombings are likely to continue." But he added: "The attacks are likely to be more spasmodic than in previous campaigns."

The source said both the recent bombs were of a relatively small size - each contained about half a kilo of high explosives - but there was "a danger that this campaign will move from smaller to larger bombs".

The bomb in Ealing caused huge disruption on the day that the Queen Mother celebrated a pageant for her 100th birthday. Extra security has been ordered for the celebrations to mark her 100th birthday next Friday.

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