Explosive device thrown at home ‘could have detonated’

Martin Finucane: Explosive device thrown at home ‘could have detonated’

The brother of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has said a device thrown at his home could have detonated.

“It could have ignited, thankfully it didn’t,” said Martin Finucane.

“I spoke to the army technical officer this morning, he said if it had of gone up it would have caused damage. It would have exploded.”

Police said a “crude explosive device” was thrown at his west Belfast home in Glenties Drive, with it reported at about 06:30 GMT on Thursday.

A window was smashed and a vehicle was heard making off from the scene.

Two people in the house were unharmed.

Martin Finucane is also the uncle of Sinn Féin MP John Finucane.

‘I hope I am the last person to be attacked’

Speaking to BBC News NI, Martin Finucane said when he initially woke, he thought it may have snowed overnight, and that the thuds of windows breaking were snowballs being thrown at his property.

He added when he looked outside, parts of the device, including gas cylinders, batteries, nails, and a flammable cloth, were lying near his front door.

“Firstly, I don’t understand why it has happened,” he said.

“Secondly, I hope I am the last person to be attacked. If it’s in connection with any ulterior motive, as we all know, threats have been issued to members of Sinn Féin.

“I would like them to explain why this has happened to me, I am not a member of Sinn Féin.”

Also speaking at the scene was Mr Finucane’s nephew John.

The North Belfast MP said his cousins were in the property at the time of the incident, and described it as a “sinister” act.

“There is no place for this, as a family we are very confused as to why my uncle’s house has been attacked in this way this morning,” he said.

‘A reckless act’

Army Technical Officers (ATO) were tasked to examine the suspicious object, which was discovered in the front garden.

Det Sgt Keith Wilson said a motive for the attack had not yet been established.

“We are extremely fortunate no one was injured in what was a reckless act in a built up area,” he added.

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said it showed a “callous disregard for the Finucane family and the local community”.

“This is an attack on a justice and human rights campaigner and as such is an attack on the whole community,” he said.

“Those behind this device have nothing to offer society.”

He called on anyone with information about the attack to contact the police.

‘Our solidarity is with him’

Writing on social media, campaign group Relatives 4 Justice said it was “absolutely sickened that a bomb has been thrown at the home of one of our founding members”.

“Martin has travelled the world to shine light on state collusion, in his brother’s case and hundreds of others. Our solidarity is with with him this morning,” it said.

The Pat Finucane Centre also responded to the incident on social media, saying it was “shocked” at the attack on one its board members.

The PSNI urged anyone who was in the area of Glenties Drive and saw anything suspicious to get in touch.

Pat Finucane was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989.

The high profile Catholic solicitor, 39, lived and worked in Belfast.

There have been long-standing allegations that members of the UK security forces colluded in his murder.

Source: bbc.co.uk

Police Service Northern Ireland

Police Service Northern Ireland

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