Northern Irish Police Launch Appeal For Witnesses After Bomb Found On Lorry Heading To Cairnryan

Police In Northern Ireland has launched an appeal for information after a Lorry that was heading from Belfast to Cairnryan was found to be carrying an explosive device. 
Detective Superintendent Sean Wright, PSNI’s Terrorism Investigation Unit said: “Following communications released by police yesterday, Wednesday, 5 February, of an explosive device in Silverwood Industrial Estate, Lurgan I can confirm that police first received a report on the evening of Friday, 31 January that an explosive device was in a lorry in Belfast docks.  That report informed police that the lorry was due to travel by ferry to Scotland.  Based on this information police conducted checks of the docks area and worked with the ferry company, Belfast Harbour authorities and Police Scotland to try to locate that device.  After thorough checks nothing was found.  The ferry sailed and arrived safely in Scotland.
“On the evening of Monday, 3 February, police received a further report that the explosive device had been attached to a lorry belonging to a named haulage company.  This more detailed information enabled police to conduct focused investigations with the haulage company.  Working throughout the evening of Monday, 3 February, and Tuesday, 4 February, police and the haulage company eliminated in the region of 400 vehicles in order to locate the explosive device.  The device was subsequently found attached to a heavy goods vehicle in the Silverwood Industrial Estate.  That explosive device was made safe by ATO colleagues.
“It is clear from the information available to police that Dissident Republicans deliberately and recklessly attached an explosive device to a heavy goods vehicle in the full knowledge and expectation that it would put the driver of that vehicle, road users and the wider public at serious risk of injury and possible death.    Had this vehicle travelled and the device had exploded at any point along the M1, across the Westlink or into the Harbour estate the risks posed do not bear thinking about.  The only conclusion that we can draw is that once again Dissident Republicans have shown a total disregard for the community, for businesses and for wider society.”
Detective Superintendent Wright concluded: “My appeal today is for anyone who was in the area of Silverwood Industrial Estate between 4.00pm and 10.00pm on Friday, 31 January and who may have noticed any unusual activity in the area to contact police.  In addition I ask that anyone who was driving in the area and who would have dash-cam footage around these same times that they contact police, as a matter of urgency. 
“Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.  Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

Emma Harper MSP South Scotland said;

It is extremely worrying to hear that a lorry – intended to travel on the ferry between Northern Ireland and Cairnryan in my South Scotland Region – has been targeted by dissident Republicans in Northern Ireland as a protest to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
“This act, which has thankfully been prevented through the joint work of the Police Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the relevant security services, is an attempt of unnecessary violence which could have put hundreds of lives at risk. It is important to ensure that the police and security services have time to fully investigate the incident, and I will be seeking regular updates on the investigations progress.
“As a result of the UK’s withdrawl from the European Union, the ports at Cairnryan will become busier and soon we are to see customs and security checks which fly in the face of the Good Friday Agreement, risking peace in Northern Ireland. Given this, I will be writing to UK and Scottish Government Ministers, along with our security services, to ensure that a full risk analysis of any future threat – such as this one – is carried out to allow the necessary security arrangements to be put in place.
“Those responsible for this act must be held to account and I have confidence in our justice system to do so. I will, as always, keep constituents up to date with the work I am carrying out on this matter and would be happy for any concerned to contact me at any time.”

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