Man arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences over IRA’s 1996 Manchester bombing

9 September 2022, 12:42 | Updated: 19 October 2022, 10:42

Thankfully, the bomb killed no one but 200 people were injured
Thankfully, the bomb killed no one but 200 people were injured. Picture: Getty

By StephenRigley

A man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences in connection with the IRA bombing in Manchester City Centre in 1996, Greater Manchester Police have said.

The man was arrested on Thursday evening at Birmingham Airport. He remains in custody where he is being interviewed by counter terrorism officers.

It has been 26 years since the IRA detonated the biggest bomb in England since the Second World War.

The IRA targeted shoppers in Manchester’s Arndale Centre the day before Fathers Day, on a bright Saturday on 15 June 1996.

On the Saturday morning, a security guard at Granada studios received a phone call from a man saying he had already planted a bomb that he planned to detonate an hour later.

Police then began evacuating over 80,000 people from the city centre as they attempted to locate the bomb. A white lorry with wires running from the dashboard was spotted but police were unable to defuse the bomb using a remote-controlled robot.

As the bomb exploded, nearby buildings shuddered, and debris rained onto those standing back at the cordoned off area.

Thankfully, no one was killed during the bombing. However, 200 people were left with severe injuries, many of them life changing, with many traumatised by the attack. It was estimated that the bomb caused £700 million worth of damage.

Detective Superintendent Andrew Meeks, the Head of Investigations for Counter Terrorism Policing in the North West said: “We have been reinvestigating for several years with a team of dedicated detectives re-examining the original case files and pursuing new lines of inquiry.“

"Following the arrest, we have contacted individuals who were victims of this horrific attack to ensure that they're updated, as we know for many people this will bring back memories of that terrible day and we are doing all we can to support our communities and those who were affected.”

Greater Manchester Police are also encouraging anyone who has not yet been contacted, to use the Major Incident Portal, as well as anyone who has any further information that could assist enquiries: