Two men have been arrested in Derry today after a “viable device” was planted near a police officer's car at her home on the Ballyquin Road in Dungiven, Derry in Northern Ireland last week.
Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell, head of the PSNI’s terrorism investigation unit, said on Monday: “Terrorism Investigation Unit detectives today arrested two men under the Terrorism Act in connection with the viable device which was discovered beside the young mother’s car in Ballyquin Road, Dungiven on Monday 19th April.
“A 47-year-old man, who was arrested in the Dungiven area and a 48-year-old man, who was arrested in the Feeny area.
“The men have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite where they are being questioned by detectives.”
PSNI said last week that there is a “strong line of enquiry” that the New IRA is responsible for the plot. On April 22, The Irish News reported that the New IRA claimed responsibility for the incident.
Monday's arrests come after the PSNI confirmed on Saturday that two other men had been arrested and subsequently released in relation to the incident.
Two men, aged 26 and 36, arrested by detectives investigating the attempted murder of a part time police officer at Ballyquin Road in Dungiven on Monday 19th April, have been released. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) April 24, 2021
On April 23, Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell said in a statement that the PSNI is continuing to investigate the discovery of a "viable device" beside a young mother's car on Ballyquin Road in Dungiven on April 19.
“The device, which had explosives attached to a container with flammable liquid, was designed to cause a fireball which would have engulfed the victim’s car and anyone in it or anyone close by, or those calling to the house.
“What is really distressing 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. It demonstrates the complete and utter disregard those who planted it had for the life of a mother and her very young daughter.
"This was a cowardly and despicable act carried out by desperate people. They deserve no support from any part of our community.
“While the investigation is at an early stage and detectives are keeping an open mind, we are aware that a claim has been made on behalf of the New IRA and this is a strong line of enquiry for us."
Campbell urged anyone with knowledge of the attack, "or indeed of anyone involved in dissident republican, or other violent or terrorist, activity," to come forward to the PSNI. A Major Incident Public Portal has been launched online where people can share information, photographs, or dash-cam footage with the PSNI.
“I am appealing to anyone who has any information to talk to us," Campbell said. "Please pick up the phone and tell us what you know on 101 or alternatively on the anonymous Crimestoppers charity number on 0800 555 111 or online.
“We all need to work together to bring those responsible for attempting to kill a three-year-old child and her mother to justice.”