London incendiary packages ‘sinister act’, Flanagan says

Motive behind incident still ‘unclear’ but Minister refused to ‘speculate’

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the motive behind the act was still “unclear.” File Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the motive behind the act was still “unclear.” File Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Three incendiary devices sent in packages from the Republic to London transport hubs, was described as a “sinister act” by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

The small devices appeared designed to catch fire rather than explode. They were sent to Waterloo rail station and buildings on Heathrow and London City airport campuses on Tuesday.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Flanagan said the motive behind the act was still “unclear.” The results of forensic and technical tests on the incendiary devices will be examined by anti-terrorism officers in Dublin in the hope those responsible can be identified.

“I don’t wish to speculate as to whose responsible or otherwise… I am awaiting a report from the Gardaí who are in contact with their colleagues,” he told reporters.

“I understand Gardaí are working closely with our colleagues in London, I believe it’s important that every effort be made to ensure the safety of the public,” he said.

“Anybody with any information on this sinister act should contact the Gardaí, or indeed on the other side of the water the London Met,” the Minister said.

Only the package sent to the Compass Centre offices at Heathrow was opened, causing the A4 envelope the device was in to catch fire

While the buildings they were sent to were evacuated, staff were later able to return. Some rail services were delayed but flights ran as scheduled.

“Gardaí are assisting the [LONDON] Metropolitan Police with their inquiries,” Garda Headquarters said last night.

The devices were in paper A4 envelopes inside plastic Jiffy bags. They bore Irish stamps and postmarks, while the words “Dublin” and “Bus Éireann” were visible on two of the Jiffy bags.