The undercover informant who identified the Admiral Duncan bomber has said another far-right terrorist attack is inevitable due to the rise of the internet.
On 30 April, 1999, the Admiral Duncan – a popular LGBT+ pub – was targeted in a devastating nail bomb attack, which killed three people and left 79 more injured.
David Copeland was later identified as the attacker after a mole, codenamed Arthur, identified him after seeing his picture on the front page of the Evening Standard.
Arthur – an anti-fascist activist who infiltrated and monitored the country’s far-right – got to know Copeland as a member of the British National Party and the pair met on a number of occasions in 1997.
Speaking to the Observer, Arthur – whose real identity remains a secret – said he was “shocked” when he realised Copeland was responsible for the attacks.
The informant said Copeland “didn’t seem more dangerous than others” and he “didn’t act like a protagonist”.
“He was a young guy who seemed focused on his job working on the Jubilee line,” Arthur said.
Arthur believes another far-right attack is now on the cards in the UK due to the shocking proliferation of far-right and neo-Nazi propaganda circulated online.
He told the Observer: “We’ll definitely see another David Copeland. But that person, he or she, should know that they will also ruin their life as well.
“Copeland had these three weeks of excitement and now he’s stuck in prison for possibly his whole life. It’s not jut a bad thing to do, it’s a really stupid life option.”
The Admiral Duncan attack was the third bombing in the space of two weeks targeting vulnerable minorities in London in 1999.
On 17 April, a nail bomb targeting London’s Black community exploded in Brixton, leaving 47 people injured. Another bomb was detonated in Brick Lane, the centre of the city’s Bangladeshi community, on 24 April, harming six others.
Copeland, a confessed racist and homophobe, was later found guilty for planning the bombings and was sentenced to six concurrent life sentences, which he is currently serving at Broadmoor Hospital.
Andrea Dykes, 27, was among those killed in the Admiral Duncan bombing. She was pregnant at the time of her death, and she had visited the pub with her friend Nick Moore, 31, and her husband’s best man John Light, 32. All three were killed in the blast.
The harrowing story of the Admiral Duncan bombing was recently retold in the Netflix documentary Nail Bomber: Manhunt, released on 13 May.
The documentary reveals how Arthur became an anti-fascist activist after he joined the intelligence-gathering wing of Searchlight, a magazine that worked to infiltrate and monitor far-right groups.
During his years as a mole in Britain’s far-right, Arthur began to doubt that the Holocaust had ever happened due to far-right indoctrination.