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IRA Bomb Threat In London Ahead Of Queens Visit To Ireland


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A coded bomb threat from Irish terrorists has sparked major security scares near Buckingham Palace on the eve of the Queen's historic visit to the republic.


A controlled explosion was carried out on a suitcase abandoned outside a hotel and streets around the Mall were shut off for five hours after the warning from Irish republican dissidents.


The caller triggered high alert across central London on telling authorities that a bomb was planted in a "non-specific" part of the capital.


Londoners were urged to go about their normal business but to look out for "unusual activity or behaviour" as police took the unusual step of publicising the threat.


The Metropolitan Police is working with City of London Police and British Transport Police, with all officers "advised to be highly vigilant to ensure the safety of London".


The statement said: "A bomb threat warning has been received relating to central London today. The threat is not specific in relation to location or time. Policing operations and contingency planning remain under constant review and a wide range of overt and covert tactics will continue to be used in London.


"At this time Londoners should continue to go about their business as usual but we encourage the public to remain vigilant and report any information about unusual activity or behaviour which may be terrorist-related to the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. In the event of an emergency, always dial 999."


The threat level from Irish-related terrorism has not increased and remains at "substantial", meaning that an attack is a strong possibility, according to police.


Roads around the Admiralty Arch area of the Mall were reopened after the area's drains were understood to have been searched. Roads were closed around the ceremonial gateway leading from the corner of Trafalgar Square when an officer spotted "something suspicious".


A controlled explosion of a suitcase outside a hotel was carried out in nearby Northumberland Avenue as officers attended to suspicious packages.

This bomb threat comes on the same day as this article here being released by the Belfast Telegraph;


Descendants of Ireland's 1916 rebel leaders have branded the state visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth "bizarre" and "inappropriate".


James Connolly-Heron, great-grandson of Irish Labour Party founder James Connolly, said the historic visit was full of contradictions.


Honor O Brolchain, grand-niece of another signatory of the Proclamation of Independence, Joe Plunkett, said she was initially indifferent to the royal visit but now finds the idea ill-judged.


Both questioned why the Queen was asked to attend the Garden of Remembrance, which honours Irish rebels, and Croke Park, where in 1920 British troops killed 14 people in what was the original Bloody Sunday attack.


Mr Connolly-Heron said: "The places that she is visiting, the Garden of Remembrance and Croke Park, it's very inappropriate and insensitive. The Garden of Remembrance honours all those who fought and died for Irish freedom and that's where the Queen will be laying a wreath. But that dream has not been realised.


"There's a contradiction there. Given that the Queen of England still occupies part of this island is it not strange that she is honouring those who fought and died? I don't think we are at the stage for that sort of recognition.


"The itinerary is very strange. We have a strange image of the Queen laying a wreath in honour of those patriots. Is the Queen in favour of Irish unity? Croke Park is even more bizarre. The first people who should be honoured should be the people who died on the field."


Despite her opposition, Ms O Brolchain said she would not protest and that she respects the Government's decision to extend an invitation.


"Originally I would have said just stand back and stay away. I would prefer to do that," she said. "But I'd also much prefer some kind of establishment of what the Queen's view of our relationship in Irish history was.


"I realise we are only a small part of a colonial history but there should be some form of words or acknowledgement and she may do that, we don't know, but it would have been easier if we had been told that."

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