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  • Undercover policeman planted bomb in 1987 Debenhams blast that caused millions of pounds worth of damage to ‘prove worth’ to animal rights group he was infiltrating, claims Green Party MP

    News revealed as minister said undercover officers CAN have sex with environmental activists to maintain their cover

    Bob Lambert planted a bomb in Debenhams inHarrowin 1987, MP says using parliamentary privilege

    Three bombs planted during the coordinated attacks

    Two bombers were caught and jailed, but the third one was never traced

    An undercover policeman planted a bomb in a department store to prove his commitment to animal rights extremists, an MP claimed yesterday.

    Bob Lambert is accused of leaving an incendiary device in a Debenhams inLondon– one of three set off in a coordinated attack in 1987.

    Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, used parliamentary privilege to claim that Mr Lambert – who went under the alias Bob Robinson – carried out the attack after infiltrating the Animal Liberation Front.

    The group planted the devices in protest at the store’s decision to sell fur products.

    The attacks caused £8million of damage and led Debenhams to stop selling fur.

    The claims were strongly denied by Mr Lambert, who is now a leading academic and expert in terrorism and Islamophobia at St Andrew’s University.

    Following the July 1987 attacks on Debenhams, two activists – Geoff Sheppard and Andrew Clarke – were jailed for planting devices in theLutonand Romford stores.

    Sheppard received a sentence of four years and four months, while Clarke was jailed for more than three years. The third activist involved was never caught.

    Miss Lucas yesterday said she had seen a witness statement from Sheppard claiming the third man was Mr Lambert and that he targeted a store inHarrow.

    She told MPs that Sheppard was not there when the bomb was planted. She read from his statement, which said: ‘I straightaway knew that Bob had carried out his part of the plan.

    ‘There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Bob Lambert placed the incendiary device at the Debenhams store inHarrow.

    ‘I specifically remember him giving an explanation to me about how he had been able to place one of the devices in that store, but how he had not been able to place the second device.’

    Miss Lucas alleged that when Sheppard’s flat was raided two months later while he was making four more fire-bombs, the intelligence was so accurate it ‘came from Bob Lambert’.

    Calling for an inquiry into the activities of undercover officers, Miss Lucas told MPs: ‘It would seem that planting the third incendiary device was perhaps a move designed to bolster Lambert’s credibility and reinforce the impression of a genuine and dedicated activist.


    ‘There is no doubt in my mind that anyone planting an incendiary device in a department store is guilty of a very serious crime and should have charges brought against them.’


    Mr Lambert said: ‘It was necessary to create the false impression that I was a committed animal rights extremist to gain intelligence so as to disrupt serious criminal conspiracies.


    ‘However, I did not commit serious crime such as planting an incendiary device at the Debenhams Harrow store.’


    Mr Lambert infiltrated the Animal Liberation Front in the late 1980s and his evidence was used to convict Sheppard and Clarke.


    He went on to become a police spymaster who led a network of undercover officers who infiltrated radical groups.


    Find this story at 13 june 2012

    By Kirsty Walker and Chris Greenwood

    PUBLISHED: 14:27 GMT, 13 June 2012  | UPDATED: 00:45 GMT, 14 June 2012

    Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd

    Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

    © Associated Newspapers Ltd