Police in Scotland are questioning two men arrested this morning as part of an investigation into parcel bombs sent to Celtic boss Neil Lennon — just hours after he was attacked at a Scottish Premier League match against Hearts.
At around 6am officers from Strathclyde Police, acting under a warrant, swooped on a number of homes in Kilwinning, Ayrshire.
Two men, aged 41 and 43, were then detained under the Explosives Substances Act, 1883. Both men were believed to be from the town.
The police swoop related to four devices being sent in the post during March and April to Lennon, Glasgow-based Irish republican group Cairde na hEireann, and two prominent Celtic supporters, Paul McBride QC and former Labour MSP Trish Godman.
It followed last night’s shocking attack on Mr Lennon during Celtic’s 3-0 win over Hearts in Edinburgh.
Lennon’s men had just scored a second goal at Tynecastle Stadium in the Scottish capital when the
man clambered over hoardings and ran at the Celtic boss last night. Mr Lennon was unhurt but extremely shaken by the incident.
A 26-year-old man was due |to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today in connection with the attack.
The Scottish Football Association said it has ordered an investigation into the attack on the Lurgan man.
Meanwhile, Strathclyde police has said residents in Kilwinning can expect a heavy police presence throughout the rest of today.
This morning, a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “Two men aged 41 and 43 have been detained and are currently in police custody in connection with the ongoing investigation into suspect packages that have been sent through the post.”
Strathclyde Police chief superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson added: “Naturally, given the significant police presence here, people are bound to be concerned. I would like to reassure everyone who lives here that they are not at risk and that we are fully in control of the situation.”
Chief superintendent Nicolson appealed for patience and assistance from the public.
He said: “I would expect that there will continue to be a fair amount of activity in this area throughout the day. I appreciate that this may be inconvenient to people who want to go about their daily business. I can assure you that we will be doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum and to get the local area back to normal as quickly as possible.
“I would say, though, that if anyone has any concerns, please speak to one of the officers at the scene or call your local police station.”
January 5: A package addressed to Lennon containing bullets is intercepted.
March 2: Lennon involved in heated exchanges with Rangers player El-Hadji Diouf and assistant manager Ally McCoist.
April 19: Royal Mail intercepted two ‘viable’ parcel bombs addressed to Lennon.