Friday 21 July 2017

New IRA bomb plot foiled after 6kg of Semtex is seized in city

The bomb disposal unit at the scene in Ballybough. Picture: Collins
The bomb disposal unit at the scene in Ballybough. Picture: Collins

Robin Schiller and Ken Foy

Gardaí foiled a suspected New IRA bomb plot after seizing a staggering 6kg of Semtex in Dublin's north-inner city.

Heavily armed detectives carrying sub-machine guns stopped a car during the dramatic arrest of two men shortly after 6pm yesterday. Gardaí, aided by the army and the bomb disposal unit, then seized the lethal explosives.

Sources also stated the Semtex was "brand new" and sourced for the terror group in the last few weeks.

The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation by the Special Detective Unit into dissident republican activity.

Specifically, the operation targeted criminals suspected of involvement with the New IRA.

Arrest

In total, 6kg (13.2lb) of Semtex as well as detonators were recovered, while two men were arrested at the scene - one with close links to the New IRA.

It has also emerged the second man arrested has no known connections to any criminal gang, leading to fears of a new recruitment drive by the dissident republican terror group.

Armed gardaí also raided a house in Dublin of a politician's relation who has close ties to one of the men arrested.

A senior source last night stated the explosives recovered were "big enough to blow up a street".

"There were 6 kilos of Semtex recovered, which would have caused serious damage if used. It is a major catch for the officers involved," they said.

Gardaí have said it is too early to rule out a link to the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud.

Dissident republican Michael Barr (35), who was murdered as part of the ongoing dispute, had links to the New IRA. Last night heavily armed gardaí from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), an elite branch of the SDU, hard-stopped a car at approximately 6pm.

The dramatic arrests took place near Spring Garden Street, Ballybough, on the capital's northside. Residents living in the area were immediately evacuated from their homes.

The Defence Force's bomb disposal unit arrived at the scene shortly before 7pm, with a large section of the area closed off.

Irish Independent

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