In 1946, not long after the Second World War was won, Britain was again under threat. Jewish insurgents, who had long been fighting a bloody insurgency campaign against British troops in Palestine, were about to take their war to London. Previously top secret documents reveal that assassination squads were being sent to the capital armed with a hit list. On it were the names of several top government figures. These included Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Earnest Bevin.
Extremist groups like The Stern Gang (or Lehi) and Irgun, were determined to end the British mandate in Palestine and replace it with a Jewish homeland. Hundreds of their fighters, along with many British soldiers, were killed or injured in a struggle that escalated after the end of the war. Desperate to achieve a breakthrough after the arrest or deaths of many of their members, the two groups set up underground cells in Britain. It wasn’t long before British security services got wind of what was happening and in early 1946 they issued this top secret internal warning:
“Members of the Stern group are now being organised and are under training. It is expected that they will be sent to the United Kingdom to assassinate important members of his majesty’s government, particularly, Mr Bevin.”
In the months that followed a number of bombs exploded in London and an attempt was made to drop on a bomb on the House of Commons from a hired plane. This last effort was only stopped after French Police discovered Stern Gang members preparing to cross the channel in a plane containing a large bomb.
Mike Thomson and the Document team track down the assassin sent to kill Earnest Bevin and the man who gave him the explosives to do it.