‘IRA’ claims it was behind parcel bombs

Police have said they are looking into claims that a group calling itself the ‘IRA’ sent parcel bombs to buildings in London and Glasgow.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 11:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 12:30 pm
The device sent to Heathrow Airport ignited and burst into flames when it was opened.

The viable devices, one of which ignited and burst into flames when it was opened, were received at offices at Heathrow Airport, City Airport and Waterloo railway station last Tuesday. A fourth was sent to the University of Glasgow on Wednesday, and a controlled explosion was carried out on the device.

Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police have said the a group calling itself the ‘IRA’ has claimed it was behind the devices, adding that the claim was received yesterday by a media outlet in Northern Ireland outlet using a recognised codeword.

The group also claimed that five devices were sent, but police confirmed that only four have been recovered at this time.

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Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police have said the a group calling itself the IRA has claimed it was behind the parcel bombs

In a statement, the Met Police and Police Scotland said investigations into these devices are ongoing and relevant enquiries are being made in relation to the claim that has been made.

It added that the packages received last week “bore similarities to devices sent in the past which were linked to dissident groups associated with Northern Ireland-related terrorism”.

While police are looking at this as a line of enquiry, they added: “We continue to keep an open mind.”

No arrests have yet been made.

Last Tuesday at around 9.55am, the Met Police received a report of a suspicious package at The Compass Centre, an office building in the grounds of Heathrow Airport.

“The package was opened by staff at the building, causing the device to initiate. This resulted in part of the package burning. No one was injured,” police added.

As The Compass Centre is not within Heathrow Airport itself, flights were not affected by this incident.

Then, around approximately 11.40am, British Transport Police were called to reports of a suspicious package in the post room at Waterloo Station.

The package was not opened, and specialist officers attended and made the device safe.

At 12.10pm, police were called to a report of a suspicious package at offices at London City Airport Aviation House in the Royal Docks, Newham.

Staff were evacuated from the building as a precaution. The package was not opened and was made safe by specialist officers.

On Wednesday, a suspicious package was received at the University of Glasgow.

The emergency services were alerted and several buildings within the estate were evacuated as a precaution. Specialist officers subsequently carried out a controlled explosion of the device.

Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are leading the investigation into the three packages received in London, whilst Police Scotland, under direction from the Crown, is leading the investigation into the package received at the University of Glasgow.

“Both investigation teams are working closely together to share any information or intelligence that could assist their respective inquiries,” the statement added.