Archive (Reagan Library)

Brighton Bomb: Reagan letter to Thatcher (message of sympathy) [“We must work together to thwart this scourge”] [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: NSA Head of State File (Box 36); copy telegram in THCR 3/1/41 f33 (T172A/84)
Editorial comments: Despatched 1424 GMT 12 Oct 1984; declassified 28 Mar 2000. The second paragraph of the letter was added on the suggestion of Oliver North, to "make specific points about cooperation in combatting terrorism" (Peter Sommer note to Poindexter, 12 Oct 1984 [same file]).
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 210 words
Themes: Foreign policy (USA), Northern Ireland, Terrorism, MT contacts with Ronald Reagan

Declassified F96-107#305
By SMF, NARA, Date 3/28/00

October 12, 1984

Dear Margaret:

Word of the Brighton attack reached me late last night, followed immediately by the most welcome news that you were unharmed. Now I have been told of deaths and injuries, and particularly of the grievious [sic] wounds to your colleagues, Norman Tebbit and John Wakeham.

As we recognized in London during the summit, terrorist violence is becoming increasingly indiscriminate and brutal, because acts such as the one last night are a growing threat to all democracies. We must work together to thwart this scourge against humanity. In the context of our special relationship, I have directed that my experts be available to work with yours to assist in bringing the perpetrators to justice. If you wish, we can have our experts discuss further cooperative measures when they convene next month in London.

Meanwhile, please know that the thoughts and sympathies of [end p1] all Americans are with you and with the families of those struck down by this barbarous act.

Warm regards,