‘IRA’ claims responsibility for parcel bombs sent to transport hubs and British Army recruiter

One of the parcels Credit: Metropolitan Police

A group calling itself the IRA has claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to major transport hubs in Britain last week.

It also claimed that it sent a package to the University of Glasgow, targeting an individual who recruits for the British Army.

Police Scotland said a controlled explosion was carried out as a precaution on a suspicious package found in the postroom at the university after several buildings had been evacuated.

The group claims it posted five devices to addresses in Britain, however only four have been discovered.

The claim was received on Monday by Belfast-based newspaper The Irish News using a recognised codeword.

The packages that arrived at Waterloo railway station and offices at Heathrow and London City airports on March 5 and 6 were posted with Irish stamps and had Dublin as the return address, prompting Irish police to join the investigation.

One of the packages was sent to Waterloo station. Credit: PA

The stamps appeared to be those issued by the Irish postal service for Valentine’s Day 2018, featuring a heart motif and the words “Love Eire N”.

The senders’ addresses were given as Dublin, with two having adding coach operator Bus Eireann.

According to the Irish News: “(The group) claimed that three were sent to ‘commercial targets’ while the remaining two were posted to British army recruitment officers.

“The group said a device discovered at Glasgow University was intended for a British army recruitment officer who works there.”

All were A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags and appeared capable of igniting a small fire when opened.

No-one was injured in any of the incidents and no arrests have yet been made.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said the force is aware of the claim, however investigations are ongoing.

“Given the packages received last week bore similarities to devices sent in the past which were linked to dissident groups associated with Northern Ireland-related terrorism, officers were already looking at this as a line of inquiry," a spokesperson said.

“However, we continue to keep an open mind and inquiries continue.

“We are also aware that those claiming responsibility have indicated five devices were sent.

“At this time, only four devices have been recovered.

“Extensive advice has already been issued to relevant businesses and sectors to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police.

"This advice was previously sent to armed forces personnel and is being reiterated again in light of this claim.”