Victims and families remember Harrods bombing, 34 years on

Victims and the families of those killed and injured in the Harrods bombing have attended a service to mark the 34th anniversary of the atrocity.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th December 2017, 7:30 am
Updated Monday, 18th December 2017, 9:41 am
The Princess of Wales chats to a young victim of the 1983 Harrods car bomb
The Princess of Wales chats to a young victim of the 1983 Harrods car bomb

They were joined at the service – which took place outside the department store in Knightsbridge, London, yesterday – by senior police officers, parliamentarians, dignitaries and victims from other terror attacks.

On December 17, 1983 the IRA planted a massive car bomb adjacent to Harrods department’s store entrance.

The bomb had been packed with Semtex supplied by Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and his regime.

Six people – three police officers and three civilians – were killed in the blast and around 100 people were injured.

Susanne Dodd, whose police officer father Stephen Dodd, 34, died in the attack, said the victims should not be forgotten.

She added: “Even 34 years later, the pain is still very raw. My father actually survived for a week and passed away on Christmas Eve, so it is always a very tough time of year for us as a family.

“I sadly dread Christmas as I can still remember waiting for my dad to return home and take me to see Santa.”

Also in attendance at yesterday’s service was Hamida Bashir, mother of Inam Bashir who was killed in the London Docklands IRA attack of February 1996. She said: “I’m very honoured to be attending this event. Having lost my son Inam in a terror attack I understand the pain that these poor people live with every day.”

Ms Dodd thanked the organisers of the annual commemoration event for “helping to keep the memory of victims alive”.

As well as Inspector Dodd, Sgt Noel Lane, and WPC Jane Arbuthnot also lost their lives.

Civilians Jasmine Cochrane Patrick, Kenneth Salvesen and Philip Geddes were also killed in the attack.

Ms Dodd accused the government of failing victims over the issue of compensation for those affected by Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism.

Libya has detailed of millions of pounds and 120 tonnes of weaponry it provided the IRA, and some £9.5bn of Libyan assets are currently frozen in the UK.

In May, the NI Affairs Committee recommended that the government set up a compensation fund for IRA victims, if it is clear by the end of 2017 that successful negotiations with Libya are unlikely.

Libya was then to recompense the UK government, at a later date. However, the government has refused to comply, saying that it considers the compensation claim to be a private matter between victims and Libya.

Ms Dodd said: “It is disgraceful that the government is not helping us on this issue. They should be pushing for this money to be released as it would bring some form of closure for victims.”