The Road to Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London

The Road to Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London

Steven P. Moysey

Language: English

Pages: 324

ISBN: 1523284773

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Road to Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London is the highly detailed account and analysis of law enforcement negotiation lessons learned from the infamous hostage standoff between the London Metropolitan Police (the Met) and four members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the winter of 1975. With eye-witness and first-hand testimony, this book examines the events leading up to the clash and their political context as well as how both sides handled the hostage situation and the strategies and tactics used by the police to safely diffuse the volatile situation.

Comprehensive and readable, The Road to Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London looks at not only the six days making up the standoff but places the confrontation in unique historical context by giving a detailed summary of IRA activity in London in the years leading up to the siege. In addition, this vital study explores the aftershocks arising from the apprehension of the IRA team as well as the hostage negotiation lessons learned in the conflict. This useful resource also features a thorough bibliography and list of electronic resources.

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remained, what tactic would work on the ASU? Behind the scenes, steady police work was helping to piece together a better picture of the key terrorist suspect Michael Wilson. The Met and their counterpart in C3, the Irish Republic’s counter terrorism branch, were mystified as to why they did not have any record of the IRA man on file. He was obviously an experienced IRA operative, having been involved in operations in the Irish Republic, such as the art robbery and subsequent shootout with Garda

during their reign of terror on the British capital. After being charged, Butler and O’Connell became a little more talkative but Duggan and Dougherty remained men of few words. The ASU had presented the Met with a thorny dilemma regarding the Woolwich bombing, as Butler had indicated he had acted as cover man on the job and the four people convicted of both the Guilford Woolwich pub bombings had nothing to do with the attack. That assertion would cast doubts regarding the Guilford bombs, as

also included a greatly increased Army presence. Approximately 4,000 additional troops were poured to Derry and Belfast with the express intention of pulling down the sectarian no-go area barricades and setting up local bases of operation in Republican areas, increasing the surveillance on the IRA. The bombings on Bloody Friday had backfired on the IRA strategically and emotionally. It backfired strategically because their activities and efforts would be hampered by the additional Army presence

Saturday. The statistics gathered by Detective Sergeant David Waghorn tended to back up Imbert’s assumption, as only seven of the thirty-two ASU assaults to that point had occurred on a weekend day, with the remainder happening during the week, with Thursday as the most active day. The ASU’s changed tactics, during their phase two operations, had targeted establishment figures and the upper elements of British society and the places they frequented, so weekdays would be more likely to find this

the tactics the ASU were using back against Imbert, they had taken a stand against its replacement. The situation inside the flat was bad and getting worse for both the ASU and the hostages. John Mathews again later described how he felt an increasing ability to communicate nonverbally with his wife. Caught in the middle between the ASU and the negotiation team, he said that they were able to pass messages to each other with a “merest flick of an eyelid,” or a slight body movement or jerk of the

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