News

Massive terrorist weapons hide discovered outside Larne

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Capanagh Forest pipe bombs
Capanagh Forest pipe bombs
Kevin Geddes (Pic Pacemaker)
Kevin Geddes (Pic Pacemaker)
Capanagh Forest explosive powder
Capanagh Forest explosive powder
Capanagh Forest Claymore mine with shrapnel
Capanagh Forest Claymore mine with shrapnel
Capanagh Forest munitions find
Capanagh Forest munitions find

A large weapons haul has been found in Capanagh Forest outside Larne, County Antrim.

Police detectives from the Serious Crime Branch have said the terrorist hide discovered in the area as one of the biggest seizures in recent years.

Two members of the public saw the suspicious objects on Saturday evening before contacting police to report it.

The PSNI team who investigated the area found:

- Pipe bombs

- Quantities of explosives and ammunition

- An explosively formed projectile 

- Command wire

- Other parts used in an explosive device

Kevin Geddes, from Serious Crime Branch, said: “This is one of the most significant seizures of explosives which police have made in recent years, both in terms of its size and its capability. A number of these devices were ready to be deployed. This seizure has undoubtedly saved lives.

                       Bullets found at the scene 

“We are investigating a link to a previous find of munitions at Carnfunnock Country Park in the Larne area last March when bomb making components and explosives were uncovered. There are links in terms of the general location and the manner and method of storage and packaging of these munitions.

“The fact that an Explosively Formed Projectile was recovered which has an armour-piercing capability means that one of our main lines of enquiry will focus on dissident republican terrorists. All these components will now be subjected to rigorous forensic testing in an effort to provide additional lines of enquiry.

“We are indebted to the two members of the public who spotted suspicious objects on Saturday. Their vigilance prompted the recovery of this significant and substantial haul of munitions and has undoubtedly contributed to lives being saved.

“The threat level in Northern Ireland from dissident republican groups remains severe, which means an attack is highly likely. It is vital that people remain vigilant, wherever they are and whatever they are doing. We will continue to work to keep people safe and would ask anyone with information about suspicious activity or objects anywhere in Northern Ireland to contact police. Once again, this seizure has demonstrated that when people provide us with information, we will act on it to ensure everyone in our community is kept safe.”

Anyone with information can contact police on the non-emergency police number 101 or if someone does not wish to provide their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.