In July 1946, one of these groups, the Irgun, led by the future Israeli prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Menachem Begin, blew up the headquarters of the British administration in Palestine, Jerusalems King David Hotel, with heavy loss of civilian life and damage. The newly released MI5 files show that another group fighting the British, the Lehi or Stern Gang, dispatched cells to carry out bombings and assassinations in Britain itself. The Stern Gang is thought to be the worlds last terrorist group to describe itself publicly as terrorist, with some of its members using the term as a badge of honor.
In April 1947, two Stern Gang terrorists, a man and a woman, attempted to blow up the Colonial Office in Whitehall in the center of London. They planted a bomb containing 24 sticks of explosives at Dover House, headquarters of the Colonial Office, but it failed to go off because it was not fused correctly. The head of Londons Special Branch, commander Leonard Burt, believed that if the bomb had gone off, it would have caused as much damage as the bombing of the King David Hotel in London nine months earlier. Read More