UK police probe suspicious packages at university, bank

March 06, 2019 - 10:00 am

LONDON (AP) — Buildings at the University of Glasgow were evacuated Wednesday as police examined a suspicious package found in the mailroom, a day after three London transport hubs received letter bombs.

Police Scotland said officers examined packages discovered just before 11 a.m. (1100 GMT) at the university in Glasgow and at the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh.

The force said the Edinburgh package was found to contain "promotional goods" and deemed no threat to the public.

In this photo dated Tuesday March 5, 2019, issued by Britain's Metropolitan Police showing a suspect package after it ignited, sent to Heathrow airport.
Britain's Metropolitan Police via AP

The University of Glasgow said several buildings on its campus, including the mailroom, had been evacuated "as a precautionary measure" and would remain closed all day, with classes canceled.

Police were not linking the Glasgow package to three small explosive devices in plastic mailing bags that arrived at offices for two London airports and a train station on Tuesday. One of the envelopes, sent to Heathrow Airport, partly caught fire but no one was injured.

Counter-terrorism detectives are leading the investigation into the London letter bombs, but said Wednesday that they were "not investigating any other suspicious packages."

Commander Clarke Jarrett, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said police had not received any further reports of devices, but had "issued extensive advice to transport hubs and mail sorting companies to be vigilant."

The envelopes received in London appeared to carry Irish stamps, and Jarrett said one line of inquiry "is the possibility that the packages have come from Ireland."

There has been speculation the devices could be connected to Irish Republican Army dissidents. But Dean Haydon, Britain's senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, said no sender had been identified and no group had claimed responsibility.

"We are talking to our Irish counterparts but at the moment there's nothing to indicate motivation of the sender or ideology, so I cannot confirm at the moment if it's connected to any Ireland-related terrorist groups," he said.