New IRA suspected in attempted car-bombing of Northern Ireland police officer

File Image of PSNI vehicle: Photo Credit: Flickr under CC licence

Dissident Republicans are reportedly suspected of being behind an attempted fire-bombing of a female PSNI officer’s car in Northern Ireland, with First Minister Arlene Foster saying the North would not “be dragged back to bombs & bullets.”

An explosive container of flammable liquid designed to create a fireball engulfing the officer’s personal car was reportedly found tied to the vehicle.

However, according to the Belfast Telegraph, the plot was foiled by the army bomb squad who managed to disable the device before it went off.

“What is really distressing here is the terrorists placed the bomb at the rear of the car directly at the point where the victim’s three-year-old daughter sits,” said Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan.

The incident comes following significant tension in Northern Ireland, with Loyalist youths engaging in arson attacks, successive nights of significant rioting and throwing petrol bombs at buses and cars.

Reportedly there has been anger in the Unionist community over the Brexit agreement’s Northern Ireland protocol, which they believe isolates them from Britain, and also the PSNI’s decision not to prosecute Sinn Féin for the Bobby Storey funeral despite the party’s breach of covid restrictions.

In a statement, First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I have spoken to the police officer who was targeted by terrorists last night in County Londonderry. I wanted to convey our support and utter condemnation of those who sought to harm her & her family. Reckless and futile. We salute her bravery and long service to our community.

“There will be political disagreements, but Northern Ireland must keep moving forward. We will not be dragged back to bombs & bullets.”

“Today’s attack on a serving member of the PSNI is an appalling attempt to murder a young woman who stood up and chose to serve her community,” said Colum Eastwood MP, the leader of the SDLP.

“The cowards behind it could not be further removed from the bravery and compassion of officers who put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep our communities safe.

“Violence in pursuit of political goals has never been endorsed by the people of this island. Those who are waging a campaign of violence against members of our community need to understand, and we need to make them understand, that they are not in a fight with the PSNI or with Britain, they have chosen a fight with the people of Ireland who overwhelmingly endorsed peace. It is a fight that they will never win.”

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