A dissident Republican group calling itself the “IRA” (the Irish Republican Army) has claimed responsibility for recent letter bombs sent to buildings in London and the University of Glasgow.
“The claim was allegedly made on behalf of the ‘IRA’,” British police said Tuesday, adding that the group used a recognized codeword
“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 enquiry. However, we continue to keep an open mind and enquiries continue,” police said.
Police blew up a parcel sent to the University of Glasgow on March 6, and said it was linked to three devices sent to major transport hubs in London the day before.
White postal bags holding small bombs were sent to London’s Heathrow and City airports and Waterloo, the capital’s busiest train station, on March 5. One device caught fire when opened but caused no injuries and services continued at all three hubs.
Sky News correspondent Alistair Bunkall tweeted a picture of what he said was the package sent to a Heathrow office building. The stamps on the envelope have pictures of hearts and resemble ones issued by Ireland’s post office for Valentine’s Day 2018.
The claim indicated that five devices were sent, however only four have so far been recovered.
The group, which calls itself the IRA, is made up of militants opposed to Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace deal.
It is separate and far smaller than the Provisional IRA, which was responsible for almost half of the 3,600 deaths during the 30 years of violence and which disbanded after the peace deal.
Dissident groups are smaller in number and capability though they have claimed lives in recent years including of two prison officers.
— With a file from the Associated Press
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