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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Police investigating claim group calling itself the 'IRA' behind parcel bombs

Police said that a claim for responsibility had been received yesterday by a media outlet in Northern Ireland.

One of the devices.
One of the devices.
Image: London Met Police

POLICE IN LONDON have said that they are investigating the claims that a group calling itself the “IRA” is responsible for sending a number of parcel bombs to buildings in the city and in Glasgow last week.

Met police last week launched a terrorism investigation after three small explosive devices were reported at three public transport locations in London on Tuesday afternoon. 

The packages – all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags – were assessed by specialist officers and found to be small improvised explosive devices.

The following day a package was received at the University of Glasgow. The package was not opened and no one was injured.

Police said that a claim for responsibility had been received yesterday by a media outlet in Northern Ireland using a recognised code word. 

The claim was allegedly made on behalf of the ‘IRA’, police said. 

They also said that the group claiming responsibility had indicated that five devices had been sent, but that to date only four packages had been recovered. 

As the packages resembled devices sent in the past that were linked to dissident groups associated with Northern Ireland, police said they were already following this line of enquiry. 

They said they were continuing to keep an open mind and that enquiries were continuing.  

“Extensive advice has already been issued to relevant businesses and sectors to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police,” police said in a statement. 

“This advice was previously sent to armed forces personnel and is being reiterated again in light of this claim.

We continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.

People in England can report suspicious activity by calling the confidential phone line 0800 789 321 or filling in a secure form at www.gov.uk/act. In case of an emergency, people can call 999. 

The incident 

At around 9:55 am on Tuesday last week police received a report of a suspicious package at The Compass Centre, Nelson Road, Hounslow, which is a building near 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 and the building was evacuated as a precaution. 

At around 11.40 am the 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 12.10 pm the Met Police were called to a report of a suspicious package at offices at London City Aviation House in Newham.

The package was not opened and no one was injured, but the building was evacuated as a precaution. Met Police issued advice to transport hubs across London to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police.

The following day, a suspicious package was received at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. The emergency services were alerted and several buildings were evacuated as a precaution. Specialist officers then carried out a controlled explosion of the device.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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