Police draw link between London and Scottish suspect packages

British police are investigating links between a suspicious package that forced the evacuation of one of Scotland’s biggest universities and the earlier discovery of three parcel bombs sent to London transport hubs.

Bomb disposal officers carried out a controlled explosion of the package which was discovered by staff in the post room of Glasgow university on Wednesday morning.

In a statement issued late on Wednesday, officers from the counter-terror command of the Metropolitan Police confirmed the Glasgow package was linked to the three improvised explosive devices sent to Waterloo train station in London and the head offices of City and Heathrow airports on Tuesday.

Commander Clarke Jarrett said: “Due to similarities in the package, its markings and the type of device that was recovered in Glasgow, we are treating it as being linked to the three packages we’re investigating in London.”

The Met statement added: “Whilst the investigation into the device sent to University of Glasgow remains with Police Scotland, officers from both investigation teams are working closely together to share any information or intelligence that could assist their respective inquiries.”

A day after the discovery of the three devices in the UK capital — all of which were posted from Ireland with Irish postage stamps — police warned transport hubs and mail sorting rooms to be extra vigilant.

Amid concerns that other organisations could be targeted, parts of the University of Essex in Colchester were evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package, while in Edinburgh the offices of the Royal Bank of Scotland were also cleared after police were alerted to another suspect parcel. Both turned out to be false alarms.

On Wednesday counter-terror police released pictures of the three parcels sent to the London transport hubs, one of which caught fire when opened.

The Met released images of suspect packages found in London on Tuesday © Metropolitan Police/AP

Police said that while the firebombs were not designed to kill they showed a level of sophistication and capability which meant they were being treated seriously.

Deputy assistant commissioner Dean Haydon, the senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said that despite the Irish stamps and a Dublin return address on the first three parcel bombs, no link had yet been made with Irish dissidents.

Irish police said on Tuesday they were assisting the Met with its investigation.

“We are talking to our Irish counterparts but at the moment there’s nothing to indicate motivation of the sender or ideology, so I cannot confirm at the moment if it’s connected to any Ireland-related terrorist groups,” said Mr Haydon.


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