Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

National Archives: French planted 'bomb' in London to test security


Friday 03 January 2014 01:42 GMT
François Mitterrand with Margaret Thatcher in 1986
François Mitterrand with Margaret Thatcher in 1986 (Getty Images)

A French secret agent planted a “bomb” in the grounds of the residence of Paris’s envoy to London to test British security – provoking fury when it was discovered by Scotland Yard.

Two containers of high explosive were discovered by a sniffer dog shortly before the ambassador was due to host President François Mitterrand in October 1984. When police questioned the security officer responsible, more explosive was found stashed in his hotel room.

Cabinet minutes show that ministers, who had recently survived the Brighton bomb, were unimpressed by the failure of Paris to offer an explanation for the incident, describing it as “inexplicable and unacceptable”.

More freshly released information from the National archives:

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in