Wednesday, 16 April 2008

City pipebomb attack linked to drugs gang

City pipebomb attack linked to drugs gang

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Wednesday April 16 2008

GARDAI believe a drug trafficking gang was responsible for planting a pipebomb, packed with nails, underneath a car in the driveway of a Dublin suburban house.

The device, which was contained in a Pringles crisps box, was attached to the rear wheel of the car outside a house at Broombridge Road, Cabra.

Detectives think the attack may have been part of a dispute with a man, who is no longer living in the area.

They suspect the feud could be connected to a garda operation, which resulted in the seizure of heroin and a gun from a gang member.

Gardai said last night that at the moment, there was no evidence to suggest the Cabra attack was linked to another explosive device planted in Braithwaite Street in the south inner city last month, although Pringles boxes were used in both cases.

The Cabra device was described as more sophisticated and the box contained explosives, a battery and a timer as well as a large batch of nails and possibly some other shrapnel.

"It was a viable device and ready to go. It was a highly dangerous pipebomb that was designed to inflict a large degree of damage, if it exploded", one investigator said.

Last night gardai were trying to identify two men who were seen running away from the house at the time that the device had been attached to the car.

The alarm was raised by a local woman around 10.40pm on Monday. She told the garda communications centre about a suspicious device underneath the parked car and patrols who were sent to the scene, immediately evacuated nearby houses, closed the road to traffic and requested an army bomb disposal unit.

An Army team was sent out from Cathal Brugha barracks and carried out a controlled explosion. The residents were allowed back into their homes at 1.30am yesterday and the road was re-opened.

The remnants of the device were taken to the military barracks for further tests while gardai carried out a technical examination of the car and other items found at the scene.

The incident in Braithwaite Street is thought to have been part of a local dispute involving a former INLA leader, who is now involved full-time in criminality and has been in conflict with a number of other crime factions in the city.

A special team of detectives, set up last year by Commissioner Fachtna Murphy to examine the spate of explosive devices being used by gangs, is assisting in the two investigations.

The team is trying to establish any links between the attacks and to identify the manufacturers and those responsible for supplying either the devices or the expertise involved in making them.

Garda and army officers believe former paramilitaries have been hiring out their explosives experience to the gangs.

- Tom Brady Security Editor

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