Northern Ireland

Saoradh member arrested in England in connection with New IRA hoax bomb alerts

Dissident group claimed devices left at three train stations in England

The New IRA has said it will continue its armed campaign
A man has been arrested in England in connection with hoax New IRA bomb threats

A republican has been arrested in England in connection with what police have said were three hoax bomb claims believed to be linked to the New IRA.

It is understood the 38-year-old was detained in the Bristol area last month, days after the paramilitary republican group claimed to have left devices at three train stations in England.

Police said on Friday a man from Bridgewater, near Bristol, was arrested in connection with an investigation being carried out by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) on April 25.

“He has been arrested under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) on suspicion of an offence connected to making hoax bomb threats,” police said in a statement.

The man has since been released on bail.

In an interview posted on a website managed by hardline political party Saoradh, a Co Tyrone man, who was described as working in England, says he was taken to Bridgewater Detention Centre in Bristol where he was interviewed under PACE rather than security-linked legislation.

The man, who is a member Saoradh, claims he was detained after the taxi he was travelling in was rammed before he was dragged from the vehicle at gunpoint.

He also claims that more than 50 police officers raided his accommodation and set up tents in the garden of the property.

He says he was questioned “about three separate bomb claims made by the IRA” five days before his arrest.

“They said the IRA placed bombs in London, Birmingham and Bristol, and they received three coded warnings in relation to them,” the man said.

In a statement last month, the New IRA claimed responsibility for placing three explosive devices at London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and Birmingham train stations.

At the time it said three warnings were issued but that no action was taken.

The group claimed that it later retrieved two of the devices but that that a third remained at Bristol Temple Meads train station.

The paramilitary organisation warned that in future it will “not intervene if there is any inaction from the British”.