The New IRA issued a statement to the Irish News in Belfast using a recognised codeword and signed ‘T O’Neill,’ a signature name used by the IRA during The Troubles.
“The IRA claims responsibility for the recent under car booby trap. We are confident the device would have exploded if it was not for the level terrain it had travelled on,” the paramilitary group wrote, citing smooth roads as the reason their sophisticated bomb failed.
The bomb was discovered beneath the 55-year-old police officer’s car at Shandon Park Golf Club in East Belfast on Saturday and was later defused.
The apparently sophisticated device used a motion sensitive mercury-tilt switch which triggers an explosion once a sudden movement sloshes the liquid around within the device.
This is the first attempted car bombing by the self-styled IRA, which is referred to as the ‘New IRA’ by media to distinguish the current incarnation from the previous, prolific terrorist organisation which operated during the troubles. Police are currently trying to trace two vehicles linked to the attempted murder, one of which had a registration plate from the Republic of Ireland, triggering a cross-border investigation.
The New IRA claimed responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry in April. The dissident group emerged in 2012 as a conglomeration of multiple groups who opposed the Northern Ireland Peace Process.
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