Treat bomb assemblers like ‘murderous thugs’ who indiscriminately leave devices, says PFNI

Communities in Northern Ireland have been urged to help root out “career terrorists” responsible for abandoning an improvised explosive device that could have killed indiscriminately.

Nov 2, 2017

Communities in Northern Ireland have been urged to help root out “career terrorists” responsible for abandoning an improvised explosive device that could have killed indiscriminately. The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) has called for the province to reject the “warped view of life” of extremists after the mortar bomb was discovered in west Belfast following a three-day security operation. The device – described as “basically a form of horizontal rocket” – was designed to kill and maim officers, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) admitted. Homes were evacuated, and public transport was disrupted as the PSNI began searching Bell Steele Road and Pantridge Road in the Poleglass area of the city on Monday (October 30), with the assistance of a helicopter. The bomb was eventually found on Wednesday (November 1) in a busy residential area and taken away for forensic examination. Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts said the device was “an explosively formed projectile . . . and extremely dangerous”. Superintendent Robert Murdie said those responsible for the alert “wish to instil fear, disrupt the community and attempt to distract officers from delivering the policing service the local community want and deserve”. PFNI chair Mark Lindsay spoke of his disgust over dissident republicans still attempting to kill police officers while, in addition, potentially causing “untold misery” for the local community. “Just as bad is the number of people behind them who assembled the IED, know where parts were sourced and know who was responsible for it and where it was put together,” he added. “They’re just as guilty as the murderous thugs who abandoned it in a busy area. They, too, should be made amenable and handed down meaningful prison sentences. “The wider community has to realise that these faceless would-be attackers have nothing to offer people. Their stock in trade is misery, disruption and fear and only through concerted co-operation with the police will we be able to rid society of the scourge. “These people don’t speak for the community which they subjected to days of upset and inconvenience. Their outdated and warped view on life needs to be emphatically rejected, and I would appeal to people to work with the police to bring those responsible for this latest incident to justice.” Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie, a former soldier, warned that the horizontal rocket-type device, which could pierce armour, could have caused a significant amount of damage. “Anyone who knows anything about explosives knows that a horizontal rocket is a mortar designed to take out vehicles, it is an indiscriminate weapon,” said Mr Beattie. “If it misses its target, it doesn`t stop, it just keeps going so who knows what devastation this could have caused. “Whichever career terrorist planted this is an absolute disgrace, they could have killed men, women and children within their own community.”

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