GLI OBIETTIVI DELL’IRA NEGLI ANNI ’70

Rivelata una lista di obiettivi dell’IRA negli anni ’70

Il National Archives ha reso note informazioni contenute in una documentazione originaria di 86 pagine, tra cui un elenco di possibili obiettivi ‘scelti’ dall’IRA negli anni ’70.
La lista dei potenziali bersagli venne preparato per l’allora primo ministro Harold Wilson e comprende attrazioni turistiche di alto profilo nel cuore della capitale londinese, come il British Museum, Madame Tussaud, la Nationa Gallery, l’Imperial War Museum, la Tate Gallery (ora Tate Britain), The Queen’s Gallery a Buckingham Palace, lo University College di Londra, il Stock Exchange, la prigione di Brixton (a sud di London), la prigione di Wormwood Scrubs Prison (a ovest di Londra).
La polizia aveva inoltre rilevato altri obiettivi minori nell’occhio del mirino dei terroristi, come: centrali elettriche, aeroporti, poligoni di tiro, stazioni di pompaggio dell’acqua e impianti di depurazione nei dintorni della capitale.
Elencate anche le date di alcuni eventi particolari organizzati dalla Law Society, dal Royal Welsh Fusiliers e dal Combined Cadet Defence Corps.
Presenti inoltre dettagli relativi a stabilimenti militari, tra cui l’accademia di formazione per ufficiali dell’esercito a Sandhurst nel Surrey.
Il documento rivela anche il ritrovamento di un ritaglio di articolo di giornale, riportante i nomi dei partecipanti ad una cerimonia commemorativa per un ex-commissario della Metropolitan Police.
Di tutta la documentazione, alcune sezioni sono rimaste top secret, tra cui 23 pagine che elencano i “parlamentari, signori e altro personale civile”,  9 pagine che elencano i funzionari di polizia e forze di polizia locali e 35 pagine elencanti nominativi di personale militare.
Non è stato rivelato se questi individui siano mai stati avvisati dello stato di pericolo per la loro sicurezza.
Nelle lettera accompagnatoria della documentazione redatta dall’allora Ministro degli Interni Bill Innes, le informazioni raccolte durante le indagini nell’appartamento base dei terroristi, erano di basso profilo di intelligence e non del tutto aggiornate e pertanto non dovevano essere considerate come parte di una ‘lista della morte’.
La documentazione in questione è stata elaborata dalla Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch, basandosi su oggetti trovati in un appartamento occupato da terroristi in 99 Milton Grove a Stoke Newington, a nord di Londra. Martin O’Connell, Edward Butler, Harry Duggan e Hugh Doherty erano parte di un commando colpevole di un’ondata di attentati e omicidi nel 1974-75. Tutti furono condannati all’ergastolo nel 1977 e rilasciati nel 1999 sulla base dei principi sanciti dal Good Friday Agreement.

La banda di Balcombe Street: Hugh Doherty, Martin O'Connell, Edward Butler e Harry Duggan

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IRA terror targets revealed (U TV)
IRA terrorists behind a two-year bombing campaign in the 1970s compiled lists of hundreds of possible targets – including MPs, soldiers and Buckingham Palace – newly released files have revealed.
Police found a huge number of names and addresses when they raided a north London flat used as an IRA bomb factory after the Balcombe Street siege of December 1975.
A list of the potential targets was prepared for then-prime minister Harold Wilson.
It includes high-profile visitor attractions in the heart of the capital such as the British Museum, Madame Tussauds, the National Gallery, the Imperial War Museum and the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain).
Also listed are the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, University College London, the , Brixton Prison in south London and Wormwood Scrubs Prison in west London.
Detectives found evidence that the terrorists were also considering less well-known targets, including a number of power stations, aerodromes, shooting ranges, water pumping stations and sewage works around the capital.
The previously secret list, made public today by the National Archives, includes the dates and venues of specific functions, among them events held by the Law Society, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the Combined Cadet Defence Corps.
There are also details of military establishments, including the Army officer’s training academy at Sandhurst in Surrey.
The document also reveals that officers found a newspaper cutting listing the people who attended a memorial service for an ex-commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
The list was prepared by the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch based on items found in a flat occupied by the terrorists at 99 Milton Grove in Stoke Newington, north London.
The original document is 86 pages long, but dozens of pages including the names of individuals have not been released.
Among the excluded sections are 23 pages listing “MPs, Lords and other civilian personnel”, nine pages listing police officers and police premises and 35 pages listing named military personnel.
In a covering letter to the document, Bill Innes, then-private secretary at the Home Office, stressed that it was not a “death list”.
He wrote: “It is a compilation of a vast amount of low-grade ‘intelligence’ material found in the flat, which has yet to be assessed and evaluated, and no significance or meaning can be attached to any of the names on the list.”
In a hand-written note on the letter, Mr Wilson remarked that the information was “scrappy”.
He pointed out that some of the details were out of date, noting that one of the people mentioned, Sir Hugh Wontner, is described as Lord Mayor but in fact left the post 13 months earlier.
Mr Wilson urged Scotland Yard to verify the information on the list, writing: “No doubt they will check to see how many are dead, or changed jobs or address – as a guide to age of each piece of paper.”
It is unclear whether those named on the list were ever informed they could be possible IRA targets.
Mr Wilson drew a tick and wrote “Yes” alongside a request that the contents of the document should not be revealed to any of the people on it.
The IRA members involved – Martin O’Connell, Edward Butler, Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty – carried out a wave of bombings and murders in 1974-75.
Among their victims was author and broadcaster Ross McWhirter, co-editor of the Guinness Book of Records.
They were captured by police on December 12 1975 after a six-day siege in which they held a couple hostage at their flat in Balcombe Street in Marylebone, London.
The four were jailed for life in February 1977 but were freed in April 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement.

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