Sunday 20 October 2019

Suspicious package sent to University of Glasgow linked to letter bombs with Irish stamps, police confirm

Royal Logistics Corps bomb disposal personnel leave the University of Glasgow's mailroom, where a suspect package was found leading to the evacuation of the building. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Royal Logistics Corps bomb disposal personnel leave the University of Glasgow's mailroom, where a suspect package was found leading to the evacuation of the building. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Douglas Barrie and Sam Blewett

A suspicious package sent to the University of Glasgow on Wednesday is believed to be linked to the three explosive devices sent to transport hubs in London on Tuesday, Police Scotland said.

Several buildings at the University of Glasgow were evacuated and nearby roads closed after the discovery on Wednesday morning.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the device which is being investigated by Police Scotland counter-terrorism officers.

Later on Wednesday evening, the force confirmed teams from Scotland and the Metropolitan Police were working closely together to share any information or intelligence.

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

It comes after packages arrived at London's Waterloo railway station and offices at Heathrow and London City airports on Tuesday.

The packages reported in London on Tuesday were posted with Irish stamps and had Dublin as the return address, prompting gardai to join the investigation.

In a statement the force said: "Police Scotland officers investigating a suspicious package sent to the University of Glasgow today (6 March) have now linked the incident with a similar investigation being carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service into three small improvised explosive devices sent to addresses in London on Tuesday.

"Police Scotland Counter Terrorist officers are carrying out an investigation into the device sent to the University of Glasgow, but officers from both investigation teams are now working together closely to share any information or intelligence that could assist their respective inquiries."

Inquiries have established that a package received at the Royal Bank of Scotland building on Glasgow Road Edinburgh today posed no risk to the public and contained promotional goods.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson, of Police Scotland, said: "The package sent to the university was not opened and no one was injured.

Inset, one of the packages discovered, which has stamps sold in Irish post offices Picture credit: Sky News
Inset, one of the packages discovered, which has stamps sold in Irish post offices Picture credit: Sky News

"A controlled explosion of the device was carried out this afternoon by EOD.

"There are similarities in the package, its markings and the type of device that was recovered in Glasgow to those in London. Therefore, we are now treating it as being linked to the three packages being investigated by the Met in London and both investigations are being run in tandem.

"Our enquiries into the Glasgow package are at an early stage but there is no ongoing risk to the public.

"The package in Glasgow was identified by alert staff at the university mailroom who had received protective security information advising them to be vigilant and to report suspicious packages."

The Metropolitan Police said the latest package contained a "similar-type device" to those sent to Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo rail station on Tuesday.

The force added Police Scotland were handling the investigation into the University of Glasgow package and were sharing information.

Commander Clarke Jarrett, from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "Due to similarities in the package, its markings and the type of device that was recovered in Glasgow, we are treating it as being linked to the three packages we're investigating in London.

"We are working very closely with our colleagues from Police Scotland and both investigations are being run in tandem.

"We continue to pursue a number of lines of enquiry and one such line is the possibility that the packages have come from Ireland. However, we are still keeping an open mind with regards who may be responsible and any possible motivation.

"Our utmost priority is to ensure the safety of the public and staff working with mail. We have issued extensive advice to transport hubs and mail sorting companies to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police.

"Following today's developments in Glasgow we have extended this advice to others including reiterating it to those in the education sector. As always we encourage anyone who sees something suspicious to report it to police immediately."

PA Media

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

Editors Choice

Also in World News