Police probe ‘IRA’ link to London and Glasgow suspect devices

Package one Heathrow Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption The device sent to Heathrow Airport caught fire when staff opened it

Detectives investigating devices sent to addresses in London and Glasgow have said a claim of responsibility has been made in the name of the “IRA”.

The Met and Police Scotland said similar packages were sent in the past by dissident Northern Ireland groups.

Officers also revealed that one package may be unaccounted for.

The devices arrived on 5 and 6 March at Waterloo Station, buildings near Heathrow Airport and London City Airport and the University of Glasgow.

A joint statement from Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police said the claim of “IRA” responsibility was received on Monday by the Belfast-based Irish News. A recognised codeword was used.

It added: “Given the packages received last week bore similarities to devices sent in the past which were linked to dissident groups associated with Northern Ireland-related terrorism, officers were already looking at this as a line of inquiry. However, we continue to keep an open mind and enquiries continue.

“We are also aware that those claiming responsibility have indicated five devices were sent. At this time, only four devices have been recovered.

“Extensive advice has already been issued to relevant businesses and sectors to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police. This advice was previously sent to armed forces personnel and is being reiterated again in light of this claim.

“We continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.”

Image copyright D Kelly
Image caption Police, fire brigade and bomb disposal experts were called to Glasgow University

On 5 March, three “small improvised explosive devices” were found at sites across London.

Scotland Yard said the packages were all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags. One caught fire when opened by staff at Heathrow.

Irish police have been assisting the Met as the Heathrow and Waterloo packages had Republic of Ireland stamps.

The following day, a suspect package was found in the mail room at Glasgow University.

Several university buildings were evacuated before bomb disposal officers detonated the item.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion following the Glasgow discovery

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