Police in Northern Ireland are investigating a potential plot to blow up a lorry due to cross Irish Sea on Brexit day after a bomb was located on board a vehicle.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they received a report claiming an explosive device was on a lorry in Belfast docks on Friday, 31 January.
An intensive search was carried out and nothing was found, and the ferry sailed as planned.
But days later, on Monday, 3 February, a bomb was located on a lorry parked at the Silverwood industrial estate in Lurgan, Co Armagh.
It is understood the bomb was found on the trailer unit of a lorry owned by a haulage company that specialises in transporting frozen goods across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
The device was made safe by army bomb squad officers.
Detective superintendent Sean Wright, from the PSNI’s terrorism investigation unit, said: "Working throughout the evening of Monday and Tuesday, police and the haulage company eliminated in the region of 400 vehicles in order to locate the explosive device.
"The device was subsequently found attached to a heavy goods vehicle in the Silverwood Industrial Estate.“
Police investigate 'Brexit Day' poster saying 'speaking other languages' won’t be tolerated
Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage mocked in anti-Brexit film beamed onto Big Ben clock tower
Brexit timeline: From 2013 referendum promise to 2020 exit
He added: “It is clear from the information available to police that dissident republicans deliberately and recklessly attached an explosive device to a heavy goods vehicle in the full knowledge and expectation that it would put the driver of that vehicle, road users and the wider public at serious risk of injury and possible death.
“Had this vehicle travelled and the device had exploded at any point along the M1, across the Westlink or into the harbour estate, the risks posed do not bear thinking about.”
Wright added he wanted to hear from anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the industrial estate between 4pm and 10pm on 31 January - particularly those with video from the area.
He continued: “In addition I ask that anyone who was driving in the area and who would have dash-cam footage around these same times that they contact police, as a matter of urgency.”