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Terrorism Definitions · Counter-terrorism International conventions Anti-terrorism legislation Terrorism insurance Types Anarchist · Nationalist Communist · Conservative Left-wing · Right-wing (Saffron terror) Resistance movements Religious (Christian · Islamic · Jewish) Single-issue terrorism (Eco-terrorism · anti-abortion) Ethnic  · Narcoterrorism Tactics Agro-terrorism · Aircraft hijacking (list) Bioterrorism · Car bombing (list) Dirty bomb · Dry run · Cyber terrorism Environmental · Hostage-taking Improvised explosive device individual terror · Insurgency · Kidnapping Letter bomb · Nuclear Paper terrorism · Piracy Propaganda of the deed Proxy bomb · School shooting Suicide attack (list) Terrorist groups List of designated terrorist organizations State terrorism State sponsorship · State terrorism Iran · North Korea · Pakistan Russia · Sri Lanka · United States Organizations Terrorist financing Terrorist front organization Terrorist training camp Lone wolf fighter Clandestine cell system History of terrorism Definitions of terrorism Associations Charities accused of ties to terrorism Terrorist incidents v · d · e The proxy bomb (also known as a human bomb) was a tactic used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) for a short time in the early 1990s, whereby members of the British security forces or British Army employees were forced to drive car bombs into British military targets, after taking their families as hostages. It has also been used in Colombia by FARC rebels.[1] The tactic has been compared to a suicide bomb, although each bomber in these cases is coerced rather than being a volunteer.[2] Contents 1 First proxy bomb 2 Other proxy bombs 3 Effect of the tactic 4 References 5 Sources First proxy bomb In the early hours of 24 October 1990 armed and masked IRA volunteers took the family of Patrick "Patsy" Gillespie hostage. Gillespie was a Catholic who worked as a cook for the British Army and so was seen by the IRA as a collaborator and legitimate target. The IRA forced him to drive a car loaded with 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of explosives to the British Army checkpoint at Coshquin on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. When he arrived at the checkpoint the bomb was detonated by remote control, killing Gillespie and five soldiers from the Kings Regiment. At Gillespie's funeral Bishop Edward Daly said the IRA and its supporters were "...the complete contradiction of Christianity. They may say they are followers of Christ. Some of them may even still engage in the hypocrisy of coming to church, but their lives and their works proclaim clearly that they follow Satan."[3] Other proxy bombs On the same day, there were two other proxy bomb attacks in Northern Ireland. In one, a 65-year-old ex-UDR man, James McEvoy, was forced to drive a bomb into a British Army checkpoint outside Newry. He managed to jump clear at the last moment, suffering a broken leg, but Ranger Cyril J. Smith QGM, aged 21 from B. Coy. 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rangers, was killed and thirteen were injured. Smith was posthumously awarded the QGM as he attempted to warn his colleagues about the bomb rather than running for cover.[4] Cyril Smith was Catholic and originally from Northern Ireland.[5] In another attack on Lisanelly Army base in Omagh, the proxy bomber was strapped into the car to keep him from escaping, while his wife and children were held hostage. However, the bomb failed to explode.[6] There were a few more attacks like these in the following month, the last one being a failed attempt to destroy a checkpoint at Rosslea, County Fermanagh, on 21 December.[7] The same checkpoint was the subject of a heavy machine gun attack a week later, on 26 December.[8] Another proxy bomb wrecked a UDR base in Magherafelt, County Londonderry, in early February 1991, but there were no fatalities.[9] The proxy bomb tactic caused some outrage in both the unionist and nationalist communities. In spite of this, there were a few more attacks before the tactic was stopped. The final IRA use of proxy bombs came on 24 April 1993,[10] when they forced two London taxi drivers to drive bombs towards Downing Street and New Scotland Yard. There were no casualties, however, as the drivers managed to shout warnings and to abandon their cars in time. A conventionally delivered bomb was detonated by the IRA on the same day in the financial centre of Bishopsgate in central London.[11] Effect of the tactic Overall the proxy bomb tactic had the result of discrediting the IRA's campaign in the eyes of Republicans and the nationalist community. According to journalist and author Ed Moloney, "as an operation calculated to undermine the IRA's armed struggle, alienate even its most loyal supporters and damage Sinn Féin politically, it had no equal."[12] Moloney has suggested that the tactic may have been calculated to weaken the position of alleged "hawks" in republicanism—those who favoured armed action over electoral politics. At the same time Moloney argues that the widespread public revulsion would have strengthened the position of those in the IRA such as Gerry Adams who were considering how Republicanism could abandon violence and focus on electoral politics. Peter Taylor wrote of the proxy bombs that, by such actions and the revulsion they caused in the community, the IRA inadvertently strengthened the hand of those within the Republican movement who argued that an alternative to armed struggle had to be found.[13] References ^ "Colombia boat bomb kills seven". BBC News. 25 August 2003.  ^ Ed Moloney, Secret History of the IRA, p. 347-348 ^ "Bishop Rebukes I.R.A. for Car Bomb Attacks". The New York Times. 28 October 1990. Retrieved 2007-03-09.  ^ "Royal Irish Rangers". Palace Barracks Memorial Garden.  ^ "CAIN - Database of deaths 1990".  ^ "Kings' Regiment". Palace Barracks Memorial Garden.  ^ "'Human-bomb' attack fails". The Independent: p. 2. 21 December 1990.  ^ "Gunmen Attack 20 Minutes after IRA Christmas Cease-Fire Ends". Associated Press. 26 December 1990.,8408916&dq=checkpoint+northern-ireland&hl=en.  ^ "Car Bomb Causes Damage, Injuries Near Military Base". Associated Press. 3 February 1991.  ^ "Using innocent people to deliver viable devices to security force targets was a tactic used by the Provisional IRA for a short time in the early 1990s". Belfast Telegraph: p. 4. 21 September 2009.  ^ Joanne Merriweather (25 April 1993). "Two more bombs explode in north London". United Press International.  ^ Moloney, p.348 ^ Moloney, p. 349 Sources Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA Brendan O'Brien, The Long War, the IRA and Sinn Féin