Tuesday 26 March 2019

'Love' letter bombs in UK had 'some degree of sophistication' to them, were posted from Republic

Two of the packages which contained the letter bombs (above), with Dublin postmarks
Two of the packages which contained the letter bombs (above), with Dublin postmarks

Michael Holden and Claire Murphy

British police have not received any claim of responsibility for three small parcel bombs sent to two airports and a major London train station on Tuesday, a senior counter terrorism officer in the UK said.

No one was injured by the devices, one of which caused a small fire in an office building at Heathrow Airport. The other two were sent to London City Airport and Waterloo train station, London's busiest rail hub. None of the devices caused any disruption to services.

Dean Haydon, senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing in the UK, said he could not rule out the possibility of more such devices, which he described as small and not designed to kill.

"At the moment there is nothing to indicate motivation, sender, ideology," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"We don't know who sent them - we are not making any judgments at the moment whether it's connected to Northern Ireland-related terrorism."

The packages were posted from the Republic of Ireland, according to a senior European government source, and gardaí are helping the investigation.

Frightening: Police officers at Waterloo station in London where one letter bomb was found. Photo: Reuters
Frightening: Police officers at Waterloo station in London where one letter bomb was found. Photo: Reuters

Haydon said the packaging and stamps on all three were the same. They contained nothing else apart from the devices and although small, whoever built them would have needed knowledge of how to build an incendiary device.

"So it has got some degree of sophistication around it," he said at a security conference.

Conflict over the British-ruled province of Northern Ireland claimed thousands of lives from the late 1960s until the Good Friday peace agreement in 1998, mostly in Northern Ireland but also in mainland Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Small groups opposed to the Good Friday Agreement have remained active since.

The packages had An Post stamps with the words ‘Love’ and ‘Eire’
The packages had An Post stamps with the words ‘Love’ and ‘Eire’

An Post confirmed to Independent.ie that they have procedures in place for dealing with suspect packages.

"We are working closely with the Gardai on this investigation," a spokesperson said.

"Ensuring the safety and security of our people as they transport, sort and deliver mail is our number one priority.  

"An Post has procedures in place for dealing with suspect packages and an expert security team to manage such incidents, and train and advise staff and managers on an ongoing basis."

Additional reporting by Reuters

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News