Underground Attacks

Roland Quinault finds alarming parallels for the recent London bomb attacks in the 1880s.

The almost simultaneous explosions on the London Underground on July 7th, 2005, caused more deaths and casualties than previous terrorist attacks on the city but they were not unprecedented. In the 1880s there were several explosions along what was, at that time, the only underground railway in the world: one took place at Edgware Road, the scene of one of the recent bombings. The earlier attacks were part of a campaign – known as ‘the dynamite war’ – by a group of Irish-American republicans against the British government and high profile targets, particularly in London. The explosions and the response of the public, the press and the government to them provide an interesting comparison with recent events.

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