APART from the odd petrol bomb, minor explosion and fundraising bank

raid, Scotland has remained untouched by large-scale terrorism.

With Scottish cities either valued or ignored by the main Irish

factions, it has been left to a motley crew of clandestine nationalist

groups to create their own brand of tartan terror at home and south of

the Border.

One of the first to emerge, in the 1960s, was the Army of the

Provisional Government, led by a former British intelligence officer,

Major Frederick Alexander Colquhoun Boothby. They relied on hoax bomb

threats, throwing bricks through Conservative Party windows, and a

bungled bank raid to promote their cause. They secured the dubious

support of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

In the 1970s, the heyday of tartan terror, the Workers' Party of

Scotland put its name to a series of armed raids on Glasgow banks.

The nationalist campaign took a more violent twist with a rash of

explosions in 1971. Two bombs exploded at Edinburgh Castle in August

1971 during the Tattoo and caused extensive damage. No group was ever

identified with the incident.

The Tartan Army appeared in 1975 with explosions at electricity pylons

and oil pipelines, and the Army of the Scottish People, a militant

offshoot of the Scottish Republican Socialist League, made its mark with

a series of minor bombings and armed robberies.

One of the most concerted terrorist letter bomb campaigns was launched

by the Scottish National Liberation Army from 1983 to 1986. One went to

the Social Democratic Party HQ, others to Cabinet Ministers. One to

Margaret Thatcher exploded at 10 Downing Street and injured one person.

Mrs Thatcher was said to have been 40ft away at the time.

The group also claimed responsibility for planting an incendiary

device in the Ministry of Defence HQ and causing costly damage. There

were also rumours that they had planted a bomb at the Tory Party

conference in Perth in 1983, but this has never been confirmed.

The recent series of letter bombs sent from Aberdeen to Dounreay and

the Anglian Water HQ in Huntingdon prompted fears that the SNLA was

restarting its campaign.

Animal activists have been suspected of being behind a series of fire

bombs in Scotland last year which caused hundreds of thousands of pounds

of damage to research labs, an abattoir and a tannery, and they were

initially thought to be linked to the break-in at the Lothian and

Borders police HQ in Edinburgh.

In the last 20 years, there have been perhaps 50 to 60 attacks by

nationalist and other groups. Their efforts have often been labelled

amateurish and there have been several spectacularly bungled bombings or