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Cablegate: The Uk: 1988 Annual Terrorism Report

P 092141Z DEC 88
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2766
INFO EC COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL BELFAST
AMCONSUL EDINBURGH

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 26262

S/CT FOR WHARTON

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PTER UK
SUBJECT: THE UK: 1988 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: STATE 357278

1. OUR SUBMISSION FOR THE UK PORTION OF THE 1988 ANNUAL
REPORT OF PATTERNS OF GLOBAL TERRORISM BEGINS AT
PARAGRAPH 2. DEPARTMENT DRAFTERS SHOULD NOTE THAT AT
THE TIME OF THIS WRITING, HMG IS WARNING THE PUBLIC THAT
THE IRA APPARENTLY IS PLANNING A MAJOR BOMBING CAMPAIGN
IN NORTHERN IRELAND, AND POSSIBLY ALSO IN BRITAIN,
BEFORE THE END OF 1988. IF SUCH A CAMPAIGN TAKES PLACE,
OUR SUBMISSION MIGHT REQUIRE A YEAR-END UPDATE.

BEGIN DRAFT TEXT

MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS UNDERTAKEN IN CY 1988
--------------------------------------------- -------
2. IN 1988 THE UK MAINTAINED ITS LONGSTANDING POLICY OF
NOT GRANTING CONCESSIONS TO TERRORISTS, DESPITE AN
INCREASE IN PUBLIC AND MEDIA ATTENTION TO THE FATE OF
THREE UK CITIZEN HOSTAGES IN LEBANON. UK OFFICIALS
CONTINUED TO BE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN INTERNATIONAL AND
REGIONAL BODIES WORKING AGAINST TERRORISM, INCLUDING THE
TREVI GROUP, THE SUMMIT SEVEN, AND GROUPS WITHIN THE
UN. THERE IS A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP OF COOPERATION AND
CONSULTATION ON COUNTERTERRORISM BETWEEN U.S. AND UK
AUTHORITIES. THE UK CONTINUED IN 1988 TO PROVIDE
TRAINING AND OTHER ASSISTANCE TO SEVERAL COUNTRIES TO
IMPROVE THEIR CAPABILITIES TO COMBAT TERRORISM.

3. IN RECENT YEARS THERE HAVE BEEN INCIDENTS OF
TERRORISM INVOLVING MEMBERS OF THE UK'S LARGE
COMMUNITIES OF IMMIGRANTS, WHICH INCLUDE PALESTINIANS,
IRANIANS, IRAQIS, TAMILS, AND OTHERS. UK AUTHORITIES
DEAL WITH THESE PROBLEMS THROUGH NORMAL POLICE AND
JUDICIAL PROCESSES AND THROUGH EXCHANGES WITH OTHER
COUNTRIES INVOLVED TO IDENTIFY AND APPREHEND TERRORISTS
AND THEIR SUPPORTERS.

4. IN JANUARY, A MAN OF IRAQI ORIGIN WHO WAS KNOWN AS A
CRITIC OF THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT DIED IN LONDON OF
POISONING. BEFORE HE DIED, HE TOLD UK AUTHORITIES THAT
HE HAD BEEN POISONED AT A DINNER BY SEVERAL OTHER
IRAQIS; THE AUTHORITIES CONFIRMED THAT TWO OF THEM HAD
BEEN SENT TO BRITAIN BY THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT AND
DEPARTED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE INCIDENT. THE CASE IS
STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

5. DOMESTIC TERRORISM BY GROUPS INVOLVED IN NORTHERN
IRELAND'S SECTARIAN VIOLENCE REMAINED THE MOST COMMON
FORM OF TERRORIST INCIDENT DIRECTED AGAINST UK INTERESTS
THROUGHOUT 1988. MOST INCIDENTS WERE PERPETRATED BY THE
IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY (IRA). IN NORTHERN IRELAND ITSELF
32 MILITARY PERSONNEL, 6 POLICE OFFICERS, AND 53
CIVILIANS DIED IN 1988.

6. IN 1988 THE IRA ALSO MADE A NUMBER OF ATTACKS
OUTSIDE NORTHERN IRELAND. IN FEBRUARY, BRITISH SECURITY
FORCES THWARTED A PLANNED IRA BOMBING OF A PUBLIC SQUARE
IN GIBRALTAR, A UK DEPENDENT TERRITORY, AND KILLED THREE
OF THE TERRORISTS INVOLVED. SPANISH LEGAL AND POLICE
AUTHORITIES GAVE SIGNIFICANT ASSISTANCE TO UK OFFICIALS
IN THE CASE. IT HAS BEEN ESTIMATED THAT, HAD THE
BOMBING OCCURRED ACCORDING TO THE IRA'S PLANS, MORE THAN
ONE HUNDRED PERSONS COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED AND MANY
OTHERS INJURED, MOST OF THEM CIVILIAN BYSTANDERS AND
TOURISTS.

7. THE IRA MADE OTHER ATTACKS ON BRITISH INTERESTS IN
MAINLAND EUROPE DURING 1988. ON MAY 1, THREE OFF-DUTY
UK SERVICEMEN WERE MACHINE-GUNNED IN A CAR IN THE
NETHERLANDS; ONE DIED. ON THE SAME DAY, A CAR BOMB
KILLED TWO RAF MEN AND SERIOUSLY INJURED ONE OTHER, ALSO
IN THE NETHERLANDS. ON MAY 5 ANOTHER BOMB ATTACHED TO A
UK SERVICEMAN'S CAR IN GERMANY FAILED TO EXPLODE. ON
JULY 13 IRA TERRORISTS CUT THROUGH A UK MILITARY BASE
PERIMETER FENCE TO PLANT TWO BOMBS WHICH INJURED NINE
SOLDIERS. ON AUGUST 5 A BOMB EXPLODED AT A MILITARY
BASE IN GERMANY, INJURING THREE UK SERVICEMEN AND ONE
GERMAN CIVILIAN. LATER IN THE YEAR, GERMAN AUTHORITIES
ARRESTED TWO MEN WHO ARE SUSPECTED OF BEING IRA MEMBERS
INVOLVED IN THE SEVERAL INCIDENTS DESCRIBED.

8. IN BRITAIN ITSELF, THE IRA CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THE BOMBING IN AUGUST OF AN UNGUARDED MILITARY
INSTALLATION IN NORTH LONDON. TWO SOLDIERS WERE KILLED
AND EIGHT OTHERS WERE INJURED IN THE EXPLOSION.

9. ON DECEMBER 6, THE UK PARLIAMENT APPROVED
LEGISLATION WHICH STRENGTHENS EXISTING LAWS TO COMBAT
TERRORISM. THE LEGISLATION --

-- RENEWED THE 1984 PREVENTION OF TERRORISM (TEMPORARY
PROVISIONS) ACT AND MADE IT PERMANENT, SO THAT IT NO
LONGER REQUIRES PERIODIC REVIEW AND RENEWAL BY PARLIAMENT;

-- GAVE THE GOVERNMENT NEW POWERS TO SEIZE FUNDS
DESTINED FOR TERRORISTS, TO COMBAT RACKETEERING AS A
MEANS OF RAISING FUNDS BY TERRORIST GROUPS, AND TO
PREVENT THE "LAUNDERING" OF MONEY INTENDED FOR TERRORIST
GROUPS;

-- REAFFIRMED THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO BAN
CERTAIN PERSONS BELIEVED TO BE INVOLVED IN TERRORISM IN
NORTHERN IRELAND FROM ENTERING OTHER AREAS OF THE UK;

-- RENEWED THE PROSCRIPTION IN THE UK OF TWO TERRORIST
GROUPS, THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY (IRA) AND THE IRISH
NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY (INLA); AND

-- IN NORTHERN IRELAND ONLY, REDUCED THE REMISSION OF
SENTENCES ALLOWED FOR CONVICTED TERRORISTS FROM ONE-HALF
TO ONE-THIRD OF THEIR SENTENCES.

THE LEGISLATION ALSO RENEWED THE AUTHORITY OF THE
GOVERNMENT TO DETAIN SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FOR UP TO
SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT FORMAL CHARGES OR ARRAIGNMENT BEFORE
A JUDGE. IN NOVEMBER, THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN
RIGHTS DECLARED THAT THIS PRACTICE WAS ILLEGAL. THE UK
IS EXAMINING STEPS IT MIGHT TAKE TO BRING UK LAWS AND
PROCEDURES INTO ACCORD WITH THE COURT'S FINDINGS.

THE RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
-----------------------------------
10. THE UK JUDICIARY IN RECENT YEARS HAS BEEN WHOLLY
SUPPORTIVE OF GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO BRING TERRORISTS TO
JUSTICE. THE UK HOME OFFICE AND FOREIGN OFFICE CONTINUE
TO WORK WITH THE COURTS TO IMPROVE PROCEDURES FOR
EXTRADITION WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.

11. IN FEBRUARY, POLICE ARRESTED A SIKH LIVING IN
ENGLAND WHO WAS WANTED ON SUSPICION OF INVOLVEMENT IN A
1985 LUGGAGE EXPLOSION AT NARITA AIRPORT IN JAPAN IN
WHICH TWO BAGGAGE HANDLERS WERE KILLED. THE LUGGAGE
ARRIVED ON A FLIGHT FROM TORONTO AND EXPLODED AT THE
SAME TIME THAT AN EXPLOSION DESTROYED AN AIR INDIA JUMBO
JET, ALSO FLYING FROM TORONTO, OVER THE OCEAN NEAR
IRELAND, KILLING ALL 329 PEOPLE ON BOARD. A UK COURT
ORDERED THE MAN EXTRADITED TO CANADA, BUT HE HAS
APPEALED. HIS CASE IS PENDING.

END DRAFT TEXT.


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