Bomb 'link to Provisional IRA'
Extremists who planted a booby trap bomb under the car of a former police officer in Northern Ireland have a direct link to the Provisional IRA, it was claimed.
The target and his 12-year-old daughter escaped death or serious injury after he discovered the device attached to the under-side of his vehicle as he was about to drive his child to school in east Belfast on Friday morning.
Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process have been blamed for the murder bid, with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) saying the un-detonated explosive bore "striking similarities" to other car bombs planted by the armed groups in the past.
Stormont Ulster Unionist assembly member Ross Hussey said: "If we look at the history of the car bomb and if we look at the history of those who planted under-car booby traps, we can see a direct link, we can see a direct link to the Provisional IRA and those that planted this bomb, in my opinion, have a direct link to that organisation."
The Provisional IRA decommissioned weapons and disbanded its terrorist structures, an Independent Monitoring Commission report in September 2008 said.
In a recent briefing for MPs unrelated to Friday's attack, a senior police officer said some weapons have not been dealt with by decommissioning and noted that Semtex explosives dating from 1982 had been seized.
Mr Hussey told members of the Stormont assembly: "Someone (Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams) once said, 'they have not gone away you know,'.
"Well I think it is very clear to all of us they have not gone away and they are still here."
Friday's bomb was found by the former officer, who left the service a number of years ago, as he performed a routine security check on his vehicle outside his home on Kingsway Park in the Tullycarnet area of Dundonald.
Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said the man's vigilance had undoubtedly averted a tragedy.
Senior Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly today unreservedly condemned the attack.
"There is no rhyme or reason, there is no logic that can stand over an attack on the PSNI or indeed in this case we have a man who has retired and is trying to get on with his life. People would, perhaps, still try and put out some sort of reason for this attack - there is no reason.
"Society wants to move on, that is the whole of society, and this is trying to prevent the whole community from moving on and trying to draw us back into a past which we have moved on from."