Seized Semtex enough to make three bombs, say police
Police seized enough suspected Semtex for three under-car bombs from a block of flats in north Belfast yesterday.
Officers uncovered one-and-a-half kilogrammes of the explosive from Maeve House in the New Lodge. It was the second major Semtex find in the same building in two years and came after a tip-off from a member of the public, the PSNI said.
Detective Inspector Stuart Griffin said: “This has caused residents considerable inconvenience and I would like to pass on my thanks for their patience and co-operation throughout this operation.
“Thankfully, these suspected explosives are no longer in the public domain. I would like to ask anyone with information to contact police.”
Sinn Fein councillor JJ Magee said: “I welcome the fact that these explosives have been made safe and I hope the area can now return to normal following the disruption.”
Two tonnes of Semtex was smuggled into Ireland by the IRA in the 1980s and used to deadly effect in the Troubles.
It was supplied by Colonel Gaddafi’s regime in Libya and was supposed to have been decommissioned.
However, some of it made its way into the hands of dissidents.
In May 2014, police made the largest seizure of Semtex in Northern Ireland for 10 years in Maeve House.
They found 2.5kg of the plastic explosive — about the size of a house brick — in a man’s flat. The man was arrested and charged, but the case was dropped by prosecutors in November 2014.