Four people arrested over New IRA plot to letter-bomb English targets

Four people arrested over New IRA plot to letter-bomb English targets

FOUR people suspected of involvement in an IRA plot to bomb British Army recruitment centres have been arrested in Derry.

Police in the North of Ireland revealed this morning that officers investigating the attacks have arrested four people in the city.

The suspects, two men aged 35 and 46 and two women aged 21 and 44, have been taken to the Serious Crime Suite in Antrim for questioning.

The so-called ‘New IRA' claimed responsibility earlier this year for letter bombs sent to a number of British Army recruitment centres.

Four suspected devices were discovered at Army careers offices in Oxford, Brighton, Canterbury and the Queensmere shopping centre Slough in early February.

They came after similar packages were sent to Aldershot, Reading and Chatham.

At least one of the packages bore a Republic of Ireland postmark, but some reports claimed two could be traced to Dublin, with another originating in a border county.

A Downing Street spokesperson described the devices contained in the packages as “crude, but potentially viable” and said they bore “the hallmarks of Northern Ireland-related terrorism”.

At the time a terror expert told The Irish Post that the dissidents were more likely to want to “send a message” to British authorities than claim lives.

John Morrison, a senior lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of East London, said the attempted attacks are part of a wider campaign that also includes killing suspected drug dealers in the North of Ireland in an attempt to win support from disenchanted republicans.

“This is about sending a message to say ‘look, we are doing something that [Sinn Féin] aren’t doing at all’,” Dr Morrison added.