Belfast Telegraph

PSNI appeal on anniversary of booby-trap bid on officer

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

People in the community still hold vital clues about a dissident republican bomb attack on an off-duty police officer exactly one year ago, police have said.

The under-car booby trap device was discovered in the driveway of the policeman's home at Ardanlee in the Culmore area of Londonderry on February 22, 2017.

The officer was at home with his family when the device was placed under his vehicle during the hours of darkness.

It is believed to have fallen from his car when he drove off and detonated as Army disposal experts were approaching.

No one was injured.

Detective Inspector Peter McKenna, from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch, said: "If this device had exploded with our colleague and his young family in the car, it would have had devastating consequences."

The New IRA has been blamed for the attack, which police have linked with another attack in the village of Ballyarnett in October 2014, when police were lured into an area by dissidents intent on murder.

DI McKenna said: "We believe the New IRA is responsible for both attacks and that similar types of pressure plate devices were used on both occasions."

So far four people have been arrested and four properties searched - but no charges have been brought in connection with the incident.

DI McKenna added: "There are still people in the community who hold vital pieces of information that could assist the police.

"I would urge those people to think about the information they hold, and to do the right thing and phone the police.

"I urge them to think: 'What if this was your loved one?'

"I want to hear from anyone who saw people or vehicles moving in and around the area of Ardanlee between 5pm on February 21, 2017 and 7am on February 22, 2017."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSNI at Maydown.

Belfast Telegraph

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