Police release images of Continuity IRA 'Brexit Day' bomb
Police have released images of the Continuity IRA bomb that they believe was intended to be loaded onto a passenger ferry at Belfast docks to mark 'Brexit Day'.
The device was discovered after police searches at the Silverwood Industrial Estate in Lurgan on Tuesday and later made safe by the British army bomb squad.
In a statement to the Irish News, the republican group said the device was timed to coincide with Britain’s exit from the EU.
Detective Superintendent Sean Wright said: “Today I am releasing two photographs of the device found attached to a heavy goods vehicle in the Silverwood Industrial Estate.
“These images clearly show the explosive device attached to the lorry. They also demonstrate the sheer recklessness of those who knowingly put the driver, road users and the wider public at risk of death or serious injury.
“I continue to appeal to anyone who was in the area of Silverwood Industrial Estate between 4pm and 10pm on Friday 31 January and who may have noticed any unusual activity in the area to contact police. In addition I ask that anyone who was driving in the area and who would have dash-cam footage around these same times that they contact police, as a matter of urgency.”
The bomb was attached to a refrigerated trailer belonging to a haulage firm based at the industrial estate.
In a coded bomb warning received by the Irish News last Friday night, the Continuity IRA said that a “live device” was in a lorry at Belfast docks and that it was due to travel on a passenger ferry at midnight.
Police said yesterday that after receiving the warning they carried out checks at the docks “and worked with the ferry company, Belfast Harbour authorities and Police Scotland to try to locate that device” but nothing was found.
The ferry later sailed to Scotland arriving safely, police say.
In a second statement to the Irish News on Monday, again using a recognised codeword, the group provided more detail about the bomb.
It claimed that a live device had been attached “with magnets underneath a refrigerated trailer belonging to” a named transport firm.
It said that the trailer had been loaded in north Armagh. It has since emerged that firm is based at the Silverwood Industrial Estate.
The group claims the device was on a timer and was similar to others used by the Continuity IRA in recent months.
The CIRA warned that the chance of the device “dropping off” the trailer were slim.
“It was timed for Britain’s exit from the EU and to bring attention to the sea border,” the statement added.
Police say that the fresh information “enabled police to conduct focused investigations with the haulage company”.
They say that throughout the evening of Monday and Tuesday “police and the haulage company eliminated in the region of 400 vehicles in order to locate the explosive device”.
They say it was “subsequently found attached to a heavy goods vehicle” at the industrial estate.
Temporary assistant chief constable George Clarke said the device “could have caused death and very serious injury and harm to members of the public”.
"If the device was planted on a Friday, it was between Friday and Monday before they gave us the information that enables us to locate this (device),” he said.
"During that period of time, a viable bomb is in a commercial yard posing a significant risk to anyone who comes within range of it."