On 3 August 2001, the Real IRA, a dissident Irish republican organisation and splinter of the Provisional IRA, detonated a car bomb containing 100 lb (45 kg) of homemade plastic explosives in Ealing Broadway, West London, England. The bomb was in a grey Saab 9000 near the train station, restaurants and pubs, which exploded shortly after midnight, injuring seven people. Debris caused by the bomb spread more than 200 m (220 yd). The bomb was timed to target leaving karaoke pub-goers – but whilst most escaped injury, the explosion still caused significant damage to property, estimated to be around £200,000. The adjacent Ealing Broadway shopping centre was also damaged by flooding arising from the water main under the car bomb being ruptured.
Experts regarded the bomb to be designed to look spectacular on CCTV for the purposes of ‘armed propaganda’ rather than to cause large numbers of injuries. However anti-terrorist detectives claimed that the attack was planned to be a massacre and to cause as much carnage as the Omagh bombing three years prior.
The bombing was the last successful Irish republican bombing on British soil outside Northern Ireland, of whom dissidents have waged an armed campaign since the Belfast peace agreement was signed in 1998, ending the Troubles.