THE IRA ARE BACK!

Hor­ror as ter­ror group claims to be re­spon­si­ble for bombs

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By COLIN HURST [email protected]­daysport.co.uk

OF­FI­CERS in­ves­ti­gat­ing de­vices sent to ad­dresses in Lon­don and Glas­gow have con­firmed 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.

Po­lice also re­vealed that one pack­age may be un­ac­counted for.

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

A joint state­ment from Po­lice Scot­land and the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice yes­ter­day said the claim of “IRA” re­spon­si­bil­ity was re­ceived on Mon­day by the Belfast-based Ir­ish News, and that 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 have been re­cov­ered.

Vig­i­lant

“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.”

The par­cel bomb in­ci­dents come al­most a year af­ter MI5 down­graded the threat posed in Bri­tain by Ir­ish Repub­li­cans.

It is cur­rently clas­si­fied as “mod­er­ate”, mean­ing at­tacks are pos­si­ble, but not likely.

In North­ern Ire­land, the risk is greater, ex­em­pli­fied by a car bomb det­o­nat­ing in Lon­don­derry in Jan­uary.

All the at­tacks were claimed by an or­gan­i­sa­tion call­ing it­self the IRA.

It’s of­ten re­ferred to as “the new IRA”, to dis­tin­guish it from the Pro­vi­sional IRA.

The Provos were ac­tive in North­ern Ire­land and on the main­land – det­o­nat­ing, for ex­am­ple, a huge bomb in Manch­ester city cen­tre in 1996 – dur­ing the Trou­bles.

RE­TURN: The old face of ter­ror ( above) and bomb dis­posal unit in Glas­gow last week DE­STROYED: Manch­ester

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