- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- Ukraine will compete in Sochi Paralympics despite Crimea conflict
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
Parcel bombs sent to Celtic manager were real
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND (AP) - The parcel bombs sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two prominent supporters of the Glasgow soccer club were live devices that could have caused “real harm,” police said Wednesday.
The devices were sent in the weeks after an ill-tempered match between Celtic and fierce Glasgow rival Rangers, two clubs with a history of sectarian conflict. The packages were all intercepted before reaching their targets and did not explode.
“They were designed to cause real harm to the people who opened them,” said detective chief superintendent John Mitchell of Strathclyde Police. “Sending these packages through the post is a despicable and cowardly act.”
While police didn’t discuss the motive behind the mail bombs, sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland and Glasgow are regularly played out between Celtic fans, who are mostly Catholic, and Rangers fans, who are predominantly Protestant.
Another package destined for Celtic-supporting Scottish lawmaker Trish Godman was intercepted at her constituency office two days later. A third package addressed to Paul McBride, a lawyer who has represented Lennon, was intercepted earlier this week.
Stewart Regan, the English chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, said the sport “must not be used as a platform for religious intolerance or hatred.”
“As a relative newcomer to this country, I find this recent situation both depressing and deplorable,” Regan said. “With the support of the police, the Scottish Government and our other league bodies, it is our intention to help rid Scottish football of this unwanted poison which seems to be prevalent in society.”
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond called for a “renewed determination that our beautiful game should not be besmirched” by the latest incidents.
“What is required here is that all people _ particularly those that love the game of football _ unite to condemn such actions and unite to condemn those who abuse football for their pathetic and dangerous prejudices … that belong in a long and distant past,” Salmond told the BBC.
The news comes just days before Rangers hosts Celtic on Sunday in another league game. Rangers are trying to close a four-point gap on the defending champions at the top of the Scottish Premier League. Rangers has played two games more than Celtic but would be in firm control if it wins the teams’ seventh meeting this season.
The parcel bombs are the latest in a series of incidents targeting Lennon and others connected with Celtic.
The 39-year-old Lennon has endured threats and abuse during his career _ both as a player and a manager. He quit international soccer in 2002 having made 39 appearances after claiming he had received death threats from a paramilitary group in Northern Ireland.
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- CPAC 2014: Huckabee says government impeding religious liberty
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again