A New IRA dissident bomb plot has been foiled after Irish police seized 6kg/13.2lb’s of Semtex, an all-purpose plastic explosive, from a city taxi in Dublin’s north-inner city on Friday.
Heavily armed detectives, aided by the army and the bomb disposal unit, arrested two men and seized the explosives from the seven-seater vehicle near Spring Garden Street, in Ballybough, shortly after 6pm on June 2. Residents in the area had to be evacuated from their homes.
A senior source said that the explosives found were “big enough to blow up a street.”
"There were 6 kilos of Semtex recovered, which would have caused serious damage if used. It is a major catch for gardai," said the source.
Detonators were also recovered.
The Irish Independent reports that security sources confirmed that the Semtex was "brand new" and sourced for the terror group in the last few weeks.
One of the men arrested had close links to the New IRA splinter group, while the second man arrested has no known connections, leading to fears of a new recruitment drive by the terror group.
Armed police also raided the house of a politician's relative, who has close ties to one of the men arrested.
The two men, both ages in their 20s and originally from the north-inner city, had been placed under surveillance ahead of the interception and are now being detained at Clontarf Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.
The Irish Independent reports that the arrests are part of an ongoing investigation by the Special Detective Unit (SDU) into dissident republican activity.
Just 250g of Semtex destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, while the 1998 Omagh bomb was a 500lb fertilizer bomb with a 500g (1lb) Semtex trigger.