A Question of Motive
The response of many in the media seemed to lack an historic perspective. The Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has claimed that such terrorist attacks are “part and parcel” of living in a large city! Many media and political leaders never tire of telling us that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, the Islamic State is not Islamic and Muslim terrorists are not Muslim. Jihadists quoting the Quran while beheading victims have nothing to do with the Quran and attackers shouting “Allah Akbar!” don’t really mean it and their motive is not clear.
Questions We Must Ask
What is inspiring and provoking such hideous terror attacks? What is the philosophy behind terrorism? What can be done to counter, uproot and prevent such terrorism from occurring in the future?
The Gunpowder Plot
One of the oldest incidents of attempted terrorism in London was the Gunpowder Plot, organised by Catholic conspirators led by Guy Fawkes. The plot, which was uncovered and foiled, 5 November 1605, was an attempt to assassinate King James I during the State Opening of Parliament. 36 barrels of gunpowder had been smuggled into the House of Parliament and the House of Lords, with the intention of blowing up the elected members of Parliament, the Bishops and Lords of England, as well as the King of England.
The Clerkenwell Outrage
On 13 December 1867, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (nicknamed the Fenians) killed 12 people and injured 120 with a bombing called the Clerkenwell Outrage in an attempt to free one of their members being held on remand in Clerkenwell prison. Between 1881 and 1887, the Irish Republican Fenians waged a dynamite campaign targeting infrastructure, government, military and police in Great Britain, particularly London, with the avowed aim of establishing an Independent Irish Republic.
The IRA’s S-Plan
The next spate of terrorism in England was in the 1930’s and 40’s when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched their S-Plan (Sabotage Campaign), targeting civilian, economic and military infrastructure of the United Kingdom. The campaign involved 300 explosions, 10 deaths and 96 injuries.
The IRA Terror Campaign
In the 1970’s there were a series of parcel bombs, car bombs and pub bombings carried out mainly by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), such as the bombing of the Post Office Tower in London on 31 October 1971. A letter bomb sent to the Israeli Embassy in London killed an Israeli Diplomat on 19 September 1972. Black September claimed responsibility for this. The IRA carried out a car bomb in the street outside Old Bailey Court House in 1973, the bombing of Kings Cross Station and Euston Station, 10 September 1973, the M-62 Coach bombing, 4 February 1974, where 8 soldiers and 4 civilians were killed, the bombing of the Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people on 17 June 1974, the Guildford and Woolwich Pub bombings on 5 October 1974, which left 4 soldiers and a civilian dead and 44 injured, a bomb in London, which injured 3 people on 22 October 1974, the premature explosion while planting a bomb at the Coventry Telephone Exchange on 14 November 1974,when James Patrick McDade of the IRA killed himself, the bombing of one of Bristol’s most popular shopping districts, injuring 17 Christmas shoppers on 18 December 1974, the bombing of the Caterham Arms Pub in Surrey, injuring 33 people on 8 August 1975, the assassination of political activist and television personality, Ross McWhirter on 27 November 1975. The IRA bombs in Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Bristol and South Hampton, which inured 7 in Bristol on 17 December 1978. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) claimed responsibility for the car bombing of Airey Neave as he drove out of the Palace of Westminster car park on 30 March 1979.
IRA Bombing Intensifies
In the 1980’s the IRA detonated a bomb outside the Chelsea Barracks, killing 2 and injuring 39 on 10 October 1981, they bombed a Wimpy Bar on Oxford Street on 26 October 1981, which killed the Metropolitan Police Explosives Officer, Kenneth Howorth, as he attempted to defuse it. On 20 July 1982, the IRA killed horses and 11 members of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Green Jackets in Hyde and Regent Park bombings in London. Harrods Department Store was bombed by the IRA on 17 December 1983, killing 6 people and wounding 90 during Christmas shopping. On 12 October 1984, the IRA killed 5 people and injured others in an attempt to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the Brighton Hotel Bombing. On 22 September 1989, 11 Royal Marines Bandsmen were killed and 22 injured when the Deal Barracks was bombed by the IRA.
Muslim Terrorism Comes to Britain
Other causes of terrorism in England in the 1980’s included: The Iranian Embassy Siege which held the building for 6 days before the hostages were rescued in a raid by the Special Air Service on 30 April 1980. The Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie Disaster on 21 December 1988, where a 747 civilian aircraft after taking off from Heathrow was blown up by a suitcase bomb while in flight over Scotland. 270 were killed in this Muslim terrorism attack for which Libya was convicted. On 3 August 1989, Mustafa Mahmoud Mazea blew himself up, along with 2 floors of a central London hotel, while preparing a bomb intended to kill the author, Salman Rushdie.
IRA War Against Britain
In the 1990’s the IRA was again the primary cause of terrorism in the British Isles with the bombing on 16 May 1990 at Wembley. The bomb underneath a minibus killed Sargent Charles Chapman of the Queen’s Regiment. The Litchfield City Railway Station Shooting by provisional IRA killed 1 soldier and injured 2 on 1 June 1990. The IRA bombing of the London Stock Exchange caused extensive damage on 20 July 1990. Member of Parliament, Ian Gow was killed by a car bomb planted by the IRA while at his home is Sussex on 30 July 1990. On 7 February 1991, the IRA launched 3 mortar shells at the garden of 10 Downing Street. The bomb at Victoria Station on 18 February 1991 injured 38 people and killed one. The Bombing of St. Alban City Centre on 15 November 1991 killed 2 people, both members of the IRA, while attempting to place the bomb. On 28 February 1992, a bomb exploded at London Bridge Station, injuring 29 people.
Targeting the Economy
On 10 April 1992, the Baltic Exchange Bombing in London killed 3 people and caused £800 million worth of damage. On 7 June 1992, IRA terrorist, Paul Magee, shot and killed a police constable. On 25 August 1992, the IRA planted 3 fire-bombs in Shrewsbury, destroying many priceless historic artefacts. There were more IRA bombings in Covent Garden on 12 October 1992, killing one person and injuring 4 others. At Canary Warf a bomb failed to detonate on 16 November 1992. The 3 December 1992 IRA bombs in Central Manchester injured 65 people. The Warrington Bomb Attacks on 20 March 1993, created a huge fireball in the attacks on the Gas works and the second attack on Bridge Street killed 2 children and injured many other people.
On 24 April 1993, the IRA detonated a huge truck bomb in the city of London at Bishops Gate, killing a journalist and injuring over 40 people, causing over £1 billion worth of damage, including the destruction of St. Ethelburga’s Church and serious damage to the Liverpool Street Tube Station. The insurance payments almost bankrupted Lloyds of London. Four of six bombs planted exploded on 13 August 1993, destroyed a furniture store, more shops and the Bournemouth Pier. The IRA also bombed South Quay area of London, killing 2 people on 9 February 1996.
A 5 pound bomb placed in a telephone booth on 15 February 1996 was disarmed by the police on Charring Cross Road. An IRA operative killed himself with an improvised high explosive device which detonated prematurely on the bus he was travelling on.
The IRA detonated a 1,500kg bomb in Manchester on 15 June 1996, damaging the Arndale Shopping Centre and injuring over 200 people. In March 1997, IRA detonated 2 bombs in relay boxes near Wilmslow Railway Station, greatly disrupting rail and road services.
Last Attempts by the IRA
In the new millennium the IRA planted a bomb on Hammersmith Bridge in London and on 20 September 2000, fired an RPG at the MI6 HQ in London. A car bomb outside BBC’s main centre in London injured one person on 4 March 2001. The IRA bombed Hendon Post Office on 16 April 2001 and detonated a bomb in London postal sorting office on 6 May 2001. The Ealing bombing on 3 August 2001 by the IRA injured 7 people.
Islamic Terrorism Replaces the IRA as the Greatest Threat in the U.K.
It was on 7 July 2005, that the IRA monopoly on bombs in England was taken over by Muslim extremists. Four separate Islamic suicide bombers targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. 3 bombs were detonated in 3 separate trains in London underground and one on a double-decked bus. 56 people were killed and 700 were injured in the worst terrorist incident in the United Kingdom since the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing. 7/7 also marked the first Islamic suicide attacks in the country.
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:15-18
Blood in the Streets
Since that time, there was the Glasgow International Airport attack on 30 June 2007, where Islamic terrorists injured 5 people. An attempted bombing in Exeter ended with the Muslim terrorist blowing himself up on 22 May 2008. On 22 May 2013, in Woolwich, British soldier, Lee Rigby, was murdered and decapitated in an attack by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, two Muslim terrorists armed with a handgun and a number of bladed instruments, including a butcher’s cleaver. On 5 December 2015, Muhaydien Mire shouting “This is for Syria!” attacked 3 people with a knife in the tube station in East London. Which brings us to this year’s Westminster, Manchester and London attacks by Muslim terrorists.
“Their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.” Isaiah 59:7
IRA Terrorists and Muslim Jihadists Have Been Responsible for most Terror Attacks in U.K.
So historically, terrorism and bombing in the British Isles have been overwhelmingly motivated by Roman Catholic Irish Republican Extremists and Muslim Jihadists.
“…Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.” 2 Chronicles 19:2
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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