Homes searched in hunt for parcel bombers

SPECIALIST forensic officers have been searching properties raided by police investigating parcel bomb sent to Celtic FC boss Neil Lennon and two other high-profile figures.

Yesterday’s raids came as police were also called to Celtic’s stadium in Glasgow after a suspect package, believed to have contained a bullet, was found. It was addressed to Lennon.

Officers investigating two parcel bombs sent to Lennon and one each to lawyer Paul McBride QC and former MSP Trish Godman are questioning two men, aged 41 and 43.

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The two men were detained under the Explosives Substances Act 1883 after the homes in Kilwinning, Ayrshire were raided at around 6am yesterday.

A package sent to Lennon on March 4 was traced to a postbox in Gladstone Road, Saltcoats, Ayrshire, while one addressed to Mr McBride was found at a postbox in Montgomery Terrace in Kilwinning.

In Ayrshire, police cordons were set up near properties in Innerwood Road, Kilwinning, and Links Road in Saltcoats.

A police spokeswoman confirmed officers had visited other addresses, but only to speak to people they believed could help them with their inquiries.

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Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson said: “We’ve had about 100 officers working on it up until this point in time and even more this morning in terms of the operation.”

Last month, Strathclyde Police said that the two packages sent to Lennon, and the two others that were intercepted, were “designed to cause real harm to the person who opened them”.

Meanwhile, a man appeared in court charged with assault aggravated by religious prejudice after a touchline attack on the Celtic manager on Wednesday night.

Officers arrested a fan who clambered from the Hearts section of the main stand on to the pitch at Tynecastle stadium in Edinburgh and charged towards Lennon.

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The manager, who has round-the-clock security after death threats in the past, was said to be “shaken” after the incident.

John Wilson, 26, from Edinburgh, was charged with breach of the peace aggravated by religious prejudice and assault aggravated by religious prejudice.

He appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. No plea or declaration was made and he was remanded in custody.

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