Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Police quiz man over bomb left under car in Derry

Police have questioned a 26-year-old man over an under-car bomb attack bid carried out on the parents of a serving PSNI officer.

The man, who is being held at Antrim Serious Crime Suite, was arrested in Londonderry yesterday following a planned search of a house in Pine Trees, Buncrana Road.

Last month, Army bomb disposal officers were called to Drumleck Drive in the Shantallow area of Derry to make safe a viable pipe bomb which had been left under a car owned by the PSNI's officer’s parents.

No-one was hurt, although Superintendent Chris Yates said, at the time, that the device was capable of killing or maiming.

He said: “The fuse of this sizeable pipe bomb was lit but failed to explode, but in a residential area with children and elderly people if it had exploded it would have caused serious injury.

“It has been described to me by ATOs (Army technical officers) as of a similar strength to a hand grenade, so basically they threw a hand grenade into a residential area.

“There was no magnetic strip on the device so it wasn't attached to the vehicle, so either it was just placed there or it was thrown,” he added.

From the onset, police followed a definite line of inquiry and blamed dissident republicans for the attack. The family was previously targeted in a similar attack in September 2009 when a pipe bomb exploded outside their house.

On the same night a viable device — also a pipe bomb — was made safe at the home of the PSNI officer’s sister.

The Real IRA issued a statement claiming responsibility for both attacks in 2009.

While no organisation has ever claimed to be behind the latest attack, the PSNI is connecting the dissident republican terror group.

In April, Superintendent Yates added: “ We are linking it to previous attacks.

“We are treating this as attempted murder and we will leave no stone unturned to get the people responsible.

“We know there were two males seen in the area at around 9pm acting suspiciously and we would like to speak to these two men or hear from any one who saw them.”

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