Bombs found at London transport hubs
COUNTER-terrorism police are investigating after three bombs stamped with "love from Ireland" were found at Heathrow, London City Airport and Waterloo station today.
One of the packages burst into flames when opened at Heathrow and two more had to be made safe by specialist bomb officers.
Photo of one of the suspect devices - this one sent to Heathrow. It caught fire: pic.twitter.com/keObgokRVH— Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) March 5, 2019
ll the bombs were posted in A4-sized postal packages containing yellow Jiffy bags and were capable of igniting when opened, The Sun reports.
Irish cops are now assisting the Metropolitan Police as the packages had a circular heart with a "love from Ireland" stamp on them.
The 2018 stamps can be bought in Irish post offices, but it is not clear whether they were stuck on by a sender or the post office.
Sources told the Irish Times that the devices had been sent by post from Dublin but this hasn't been confirmed.
The packages are being treated as linked and pictures of devices sent to Heathrow and Waterloo show the same envelopes and postage stamps used to send them.
A terror investigation has been launched and police have issued advice to transport hubs across the capital.
DLR services to London City Airport were suspended and a cordon remains in place outside Waterloo.
No-one was injured and there have been no arrests in connection with the incidents.
THREE PACKAGES REPORTED IN LESS THAN THREE HOURS
One of the packages exploded into flames at Heathrow Airport's Compass Centre - which houses the airport's head office - at around 9.55am this morning.
No-one was injured but the building was evacuated as a precaution and remains closed as a terror investigation is launched.
Officers were then called to reports of a suspicious package in the post room of Waterloo Station at around 11.40am.
The package had not been opened and specialist officers were called in to make the device safe.
The station was not evacuated but a cordon remains in an area outside the station.
Train services are running as normal.
A third report of a suspicious package was then received from London City Airport at around 12.10pm.
The package was not opened and no-one was injured but staff were evacuated as a precaution.
DLR services to the airport were suspended but flights were not affected.
Specialist officers attended to make the device safe and the building has now been reopened.
HUNDREDS OF STAFF EVACUATED AS TRANSPORT HUBS TARGETED
Staff were evacuated at all three locations as specialist bomb officers were called to the scenes.
Flights were not affected at either airport and train services remained unaffected at Waterloo.
But armed cops remain at all three transport hubs tonight as security briefings take place with transport bosses across London.
A Met Police statement said: "The packages - all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags - have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices.
"These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.
"The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is treating the incidents as a linked series and is keeping an open mind regarding motives.
"The Met Police has issued advice to transport hubs across London to be vigilant for and report suspicious packages to police."
A London City Airport statement said: "We can confirm that City Aviation House has reopened and staff have returned safely, following the evacuation of approximately 100 staff at 12.15pm, due to the discovery of a small improvised explosive device.
"Specialist police officers dealt with the device, which did not affect flight operations. The airport terminal remained open throughout.
"Inquiries by Metropolitan Police are ongoing."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command has launched an investigation after three suspicious packages were found at locations around London today.
"I have been fully briefed by the Met Commissioner. The police are treating the incidents as linked but are keeping an open mind regarding the motives.
"While transport services continue to operate as normal, I urge all Londoners and visitors to our city to remain vigilant, and report any potential suspicious packages to the police."