New IRA develops a ‘different kind of dangerous explosive bomb’ - PSNI

Supt McVea says the method of dissident republican group’s detonation is crude but effective

Detective Supt John McVea speaking at a press conference at PSNI headquarters in Belfast. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Detective Supt John McVea speaking at a press conference at PSNI headquarters in Belfast. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

 

Police in Northern Ireland are linking two attacks on PSNI officers using a modified type of bomb, to the New IRA.

An Under Vehicle Improvised Explosive Device (UVIED) was discovered in the driveway of an off duty police officer in the Ardanlee Drive area of Derry on February 22nd last.

The device, which police said consisted of a substantial quantity of high explosives and was designed to be activated by a pressure plate under the wheel rather than a traditional tilt switch, later exploded when it was being examined by army technical officers.

Police described it as attempted murder and a reckless attack by the New IRA on a police officer and the whole community.

“If this UVIED had exploded with our colleague and his young family in the car earlier this year it would have had devastating consequences. I am thankful this was not the case,” Det Supt John McVea said.

“However, I must emphasise that the violent dissident republicans who carried out this attack did indeed intend to kill him and didn’t care that his children or partner could also have been in the vehicle with him at the time.”

Det Supt McVea revealed said police had only seen this type of pressure plate device on one occasion in the past, at Ballyarnett village on October 13th, 2014, and the two attacks are now being linked.

On that occasion the New IRA had left a device, with a pressure plate under a mat, with the intention of luring police into the area for detonation by an officer.

“We are now formally linking these two incidents and believe that the (New) IRA are responsible for both attacks,” Det Supt McVea said.

Police are appealing for any information that could lead to a prosecution and for the public’s help in identifying a light coloured Toyota Avensis that was seen in the Ardanlee of Derry area at around 11pm on February 21st.