Wednesday, February 07, 2007

UK - DVLA hit by bombing campaign

For the third day running, a letter bomb has exploded at offices related to motoring offences, licensing and law enforcement. The latest incident occurred at the DVLA [Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency] in Swansea. Sky News broke the news to viewers shortly after 10:00 GMT. The device, which exploded at 09:23 GMT, injured a female employee who was removed to hospital. Her injuries were described by police as “non-life threatening”. Shortly after this incident police were called to a suspicious package at offices in Pimlico in London. That package, apparently addressed to Britney Spears, was later declared to be a hoax. It highlights the concern raised by the three day campaign which has so far injured 4 people.
On Monday a letter bomb exploded at the offices of Capita. The company is connected to the collection of London’s Congestion Charge. Police sealed off Victoria Street for several hours and a woman with slight injuries to her arm was taken to hospital. It is understood she was not the person to whom it was addressed.
On Tuesday, Vantis, a company in Wokingham, Berkshire, was targeted. The company was described as being a provider of speed-check services and digital cameras to police. Two persons received minor injuries in that incident.
Today’s incident appears to show an emerging theme. Sky News speculated that the series of incidents were being targeted by an “enraged motorist trying to make a point”. John Reid, Home Secretary, in a brief statement said “naturally such incidents are worrying”. He added that the police should be allowed to carry out their investigation without “undue speculation”.
Thames valley police are said to be overseeing the investigation, although the terrorist branch at New Scotland Yard are said to be looking closely at developments. Dr Clifford Jones, an explosives export, told Sky News that the knowledge needed to construct a letter bomb was “not huge”. Indeed the first recorded instance of a letter-bomb being dispatched was 100 years ago in Sweden. The IRA [Irish Republican Army] employed the use of such devices over their 25 year campaign and many caused fatalities [List of terrorist incidents in the UK / BBC].

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