Police investigating 'potential Brexit day bomb plot' after device found on lorry in Northern Ireland

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Officers are investigating a link to a ferry crossing to Scotland on 31 January and a bomb found on a heavy goods vehicle in Co Armagh earlier this week (Getty)

Police in Northern Ireland are investigating a potential plot to blow up a lorry due to cross Irish Sea on Brexit day after a bomb was located on board a vehicle.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they received a report claiming an explosive device was on a lorry in Belfast docks on Friday, 31 January.

An intensive search was carried out and nothing was found, and the ferry sailed as planned.

But days later, on Monday, 3 February, a bomb was located on a lorry parked at the Silverwood industrial estate in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

It is understood the bomb was found on the trailer unit of a lorry owned by a haulage company that specialises in transporting frozen goods across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Police received a report that an explosive device was on a lorry in Belfast docks last Friday, the day the UK left the EU (Getty)

The device was made safe by army bomb squad officers.

Detective superintendent Sean Wright, from the PSNI’s terrorism investigation unit, said: "Working 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. 

"The device was subsequently found attached to a heavy goods vehicle in the Silverwood Industrial Estate.“

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He added: “It is clear from the information available to police that dissident republicans deliberately and recklessly attached an explosive device to a heavy goods vehicle in the full knowledge and expectation that it would put the driver of that vehicle, road users and the wider public at serious risk of injury and possible death.

“Had this vehicle travelled and the device had exploded at any point along the M1, across the Westlink or into the harbour estate, the risks posed do not bear thinking about.”

Three days later, on 3 February, officers received a further report that a device was attached to a lorry belonging to a named haulage company (Getty)

Wright added he wanted to hear from anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the industrial estate between 4pm and 10pm on 31 January - particularly those with video from the area.

He continued: “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.” 

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