The IRA planned to attack power stations in south-east England in the final years of its terror bombing campaign, a former member has claimed.
The plan is alleged to have been made in the mid-1990s, shortly before the Belfast Agreement peace accord.
John Crawley, a US Marine-trained demolition expert turned IRA gun runner, makes the fresh claim in a BBC series marking the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of Northern Ireland’s Troubles. The final episode of Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History explores the last IRA campaign in England and the secret talks that brought about peace.
The IRA broke its 1994 ceasefire in February 1996 when it detonated a bomb in London’s Docklands killing two people, injuring more than 100 and causing £150m of damage. The same year it detonated a bomb in Manchester city centre, injuring more than 200.
The attacks came as Sinn Féin argued with the British government over calls for the IRA to disarm before the Irish republican party could engage in formal peace talks.