IRA claims responsibility for London and Glasgow letter bombs

A group identifying itself as the IRA has claimed responsibility for a series of letter bombs sent to addresses in England and Scotland last week, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has confirmed. 

Mar 12, 2019
By Tony Thompson

A man claiming to represent a dissident Republican organisation contacted a media organisation in Northern Ireland on Monday and used a recognised codeword to make the claim. 

Four improvised explosive devices designed to start fires were identified last week at transport hubs in London and at Glasgow University. However, the person claiming responsibility stated that five devices had been sent meaning that one has yet to be detected.  

No indication was given as to the recipient of the missing package. Police said relevant businesses and sectors had been warned to remain vigilant for potential devices. 

Counter terror police were called in last week when a suspicious package sent to Heathrow ignited and burst into flames when it was opened. A short time later, suspicious devices were also identified at Waterloo station and London’s City Airport, although they were made safe before they were opened. The following day a similar device was identified at Glasgow University in Scotland, leading to an evacuation of students. 

An MPS spokesperson confirmed that someone claiming to represent the IRA had claimed responsibility for sending the devices. 

“The claim was received on Monday 11 March by a media outlet in Northern Ireland outlet using a recognised codeword,” they said. The claim was allegedly made on behalf of the ‘IRA’. The investigations into these devices continue and relevant enquiries are being made in relation to the claim that has been made. 

“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. 

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