New IRA claims responsibility for bomb under PSNI officer’s car
Smooth roads vehicle travelled over may have prevented device from exploding
Police and army bomb disposal experts at Shandon Park Golf Club in east Belfast last Saturday after a bomb was found under a car in the car park. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire
The New IRA has said it was responsible for the attempt to kill a PSNI officer in an under-car bomb attack in east Belfast last weekend.
The organisation in a statement to the Irish News in Belfast said it planted the bomb under the car of the police officer.
“The IRA claims responsibility for the recent under car booby trap,” it said in a statement using a recognised code-word and signed T O’Neill.
In its statement, the paramilitary organisation suggested the bomb contained a mercury tilt switch which normally is activated by the motion of a car. It suggested because the officer’s car travelled over a relatively smooth road surface, there was not sufficient jolting or bumping of the vehicle to trigger the device.
“We are confident the device would have exploded if it was not for the level terrain it had travelled on,” said the New IRA. “We were unlucky this time but we only have to be lucky once.”
The Irish News reported that it understood that the bomb contained high powered plastic explosives.
The PSNI had said it was “extraordinarily fortunate” that the officer or members of his family or the public were not killed in the failed attack.
This was the first such incident by the New IRA, which styles itself the “IRA”, since it murdered journalist and writer Lyra McKee in Derry in April.
Two cars linked to the attempted attack were found on fire in Ardoyne in north Belfast early last Saturday morning.
The PSNI asked for the cooperation of the Garda as one of the vehicles had a Dublin registration.