Dissident bombers ‘may have had support in east Belfast’ say PSNI

Detective Superintendent Sean Wright during his appeal in Belfast for information about the movement of two cars in his probe into the attempted murder of a police officer with an under car bomb. The bomb, described as a sophisticated device was discovered at Shandon Park Golf Club later on June 1. Rebecca Black/PA Wire
Detective Superintendent Sean Wright during his appeal in Belfast for information about the movement of two cars in his probe into the attempted murder of a police officer with an under car bomb. The bomb, described as a sophisticated device was discovered at Shandon Park Golf Club later on June 1. Rebecca Black/PA Wire

Detectives investigating the attempted murder of a police officer with an under car bomb say the terrorists responsible may have had support in east Belfast.

Two cars, a green Skoda Octavia and silver Saab 95, can been seen on CCTV footage entering east Belfast on the night the bomb was planted, Friday 31 May.

Dissident republicans are believed to have been behind the attack.

However the two cars are unaccounted for over a hour in an area of east Belfast regarded as loyalist before the bomb was planted.

Det Supt Sean Wright has urged anyone who may have seen the cars in inner east Belfast between midnight and 2am on Saturday June 1 to contact detectives.

“They have remained in the east Belfast area, wherever they have been they have felt safe and secure in going there, I want to know where they were in that period of time,” he said.

“Particularly in those areas of the lower Newtownards Road, Albertbridge Road, Beersbridge Road, Mersey Street and Sydenham.

“Those vehicles were in that area, whether they were parked up or whether they were in someone else’s house hiding away until such times they felt it safe to plant a bomb under a police officer’s car.”

The bomb, described as a sophisticated device was discovered at Shandon Park Golf Club later on June 1.

The Skoda registration was 01-D-78089 while the Saab’s was NFZ3216.

He gave a timeline of the two cars coming into east Belfast via the Newtownards Road at 00.08am on 31 May.

The Saab disappears while the Skoda is last seen at 00.18 before disappearing for just over an hour.

“I know then that both cars travelled along the Newtownards Road at the same time back towards the police officers house in east Belfast at 01.26 min, and this is when I believe they planted the bomb,” he said.

“On the CCTV you can see two cars travelling back along the Newtownards Road back towards Belfast city centre at 1.33am.

“I believe that the terrorists had already planted the bomb at this stage and they were in the process of fleeing the scene.

“At around 01.50 these two cars were found on fire in the Etna Drive area of north Belfast, however there is a period of over an hour when these two vehicles were unaccounted for, and I want to know where they were.”

He urged locals to check their phones, dashcams and CCTV for images that may help the police investigation.