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London police exploring the possibility that explosive devices sent to transport hubs came from Ireland

Gardaí confirmed yesterday evening that they were helping the Met Police with their investigations.

Updated Mar 6th 2019, 2:20 PM

COUNTER TERRORISM POLICE in London have said they are exploring the possibility that suspicious packages sent to buildings in the city yesterday came from Ireland. 

Met police yesterday launched a terrorism investigation after three small explosive devices were reported at three public transport locations in London yesterday 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 devices, at the early stage of the investigation, appeared capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.

Gardaí confirmed to TheJournal.ie yesterday evening that they were helping the Met Police with their investigations.

In an update this afternoon, Commander Clarke Jarrett, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said:

“The Met Police is working closely with the CT Policing Network and police partners more widely. We are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry.

One such line is the possibility that the packages have come from Ireland.

Jarrett said that the force’s “utmost priority” was to ensure the safety of the public and staff working with mail. 

“Yesterday we quickly shared images of the packages with staff at transport hubs and mail handling companies and offices, to aid them in identifying similar packages, however we have not received any further reports,” he said.

Police released images of the exterior of the three packages today, which show that they had An Post stamps on the front and the return address can be seen as Dublin.

The stamps which can be seen were issued at Valentine’s Day last year. A return address on the packages is given as Bus Éireann, Dublin. 

In an earlier statement, Met police said they were treating the incidents as “a linked series” and were “keeping an open mind regarding motives”. 

Safety advice 

Jarrett said that extensive advice had been issued to different bodies to be vigilant and report any specific packages. 

“We have issued extensive advice to transport hubs and mail sorting companies to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police, as always we encourage anyone who sees something suspicious to report it,” he said. 

Incident

At around 9:55am yesterday 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 11.40am 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 12.10pm 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.

No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing. 

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha and Garreth MacNamee

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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