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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Gardai thwart firebomb attack as two arrested in car chase

Tom Brady Security Editor

GARDAI thwarted a firebomb attack after chasing a car through south county Dublin and arresting the occupants.

Last night, a man and a woman, both in their 20s and from Bray, Co Wicklow, were being questioned about illegal possession of a pipebomb.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Hybrid, which has been targeting criminals involved in bomb attacks in south and west Dublin in recent weeks.

Gardai estimate there have been 26 pipebomb and other improvised explosive attacks in Crumlin and Tallaght alone since the start of the year.

The special operation also includes Blanchardstown.

Officers reckon the bomb seized on Wednesday night was to have been planted under a car outside a house in Tallaght. They think the intended attack is linked to an internal row in a crime gang over a recent drugs seizure by gardai.

Operation Hybrid involves regular patrolling and armed checkpoints in the targeted areas as well as searches of suspects' homes and visits to the homes of possible victims.

Shortly before 10pm on Wednesday, surveillance spotted the two suspects, who were well known to them. The suspects got into a car and, after a number of false starts, headed off through Tallaght, followed by gardai.

As the car, which was being driven by a woman, arrived in the Firhouse area, it slowed down and the male passenger got out. He was seen to throw an item into the roadside grass before running away.

Gardai recovered the pipebomb and shortly afterwards arrested the pair.

They were being held last night at Crumlin and Sundrive Road stations and can be held without charge for 72 hours.

Senior officers believe the attack had been planned by a major criminal from Bray.

The pipebomb was viable and contained shotgun cartridges, powder and nuts and bolts.

It was made safe by an Army bomb disposal team.

"It was not the usual crudely constructed device and could have caused a lot of damage as well as seriously injuring anybody, who might have been in the vicinity, when it exploded," one officer said.

One gang, whose members' homes were attacked with pipebombs earlier this year, is believed to have been responsible for a double murder in Kilcock in north Kildare in March.

Irish Independent

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