Parsons Green: Britain hit by most terror attacks for quarter of a century

David Harding
Contributor

The UK has now suffered more terror attacks during 2017 than at any time over the past 25 years, following this morning’s explosion at Parsons Green tube station.

The incident in south-west London – where at least 22 people were taken to hospital after a bucket apparently exploded on a London Underground train – is the fifth major attack on the UK in the past nine months.

The last time there were more than five terror attacks on Britain was in 1992 – the year of the Baltic Exchange bombing in London which killed three people and caused an estimated £800 million worth of damage.

In 1992 there were seven terror attacks across the UK, including attacks in Shrewsbury and Manchester.

A woman comforted by police after the explosion at Parsons Green (Reuters)

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Where the previous London terror attacks have taken place this year (PA)

Five people were killed in the 1992 attacks and around 100 people were injured.

In 2017, so far, 37 people have been killed almost 400 people have been injured in the attacks

Most of the attacks in the early 1990s were carried out by the IRA.

The explosion at Parsons Green brings the number of terror-related incidents in the UK so far during 2017 to five, following attacks at Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena, Borough Market, and Finsbury Park Mosque.

 

Armed officers at Parsons Green (Reuters)

Although details about the Parsons Green blast are still emerging, Scotland Yard has declared it a ‘terrorist incident’.

Pictures circulating on social media appeared to show wires protruding from a bucket inside a plastic carrier bag.

The scenes of panic evoked memories of the July 7 atrocities in 2005, when suicide bombers killed 52 people in a series of co-ordinated attacks across London’s transport network.

Authorities are said to have foiled 19 plots since the middle of 2013 – including six since the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March.

The incident comes a day after figures revealed terror-related arrests in Great Britain have hit a new record high, with suspects held at a rate of more than one every day.

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Police warned there is no such thing as a ‘typical terrorist’ after official statistics showed rises in numbers detained across ethnicities and age groups.

There were 379 arrests for terrorism-related offences in the year ending June 2017, the highest number in a 12-month period since data collection began in 2001.

Police and MI5 are running 500 investigations involving 3,000 individuals at any one time, while there are also 20,000 former “subjects of interest” whose risk must be kept under review.

Among the other terror incidents in 1992 was an unsuccessful attack on Canary Wharf by the IRA,  two car bomb attacks in central Manchester which injured 65 people and three firebombs in Shrewsbury.

Officials were quickly on the scene (Reuters)

The attacks did not stop as Britain entered 1993.

Infamously, in March 1993 two IRA bomb attacks took place in Warrington, killing three-year-old Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, 12.

Ball was shopping for a Mother’s Day card with his babysitter at the time of the explosion.

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