Belfast Car Bomb: Two Men Arrested
Two men are arrested in Belfast in connection with the discovery of a car bomb found underneath a police officer's car.
Attempts are made to examine the booby trap in Belfast
Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton revealed the officer was with his wife and two young children when he checked the car as a matter of routine.
The property is close to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) headquarters at Knock and the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.
Mr Hamilton said: "If that officer had not checked his car, we would have been looking at a murder or multiple murders.
"We believe the consequences of this would have been absolutely devastating for the officer, his family, for the police family and for the communities across Northern Ireland."
He added there was a severe threat level across Northern Ireland and appealed to officers to be vigilant and to check under their cars.
It is hoped that the bomb will be useful as evidence because it was discovered and did not engage.
A second device was found close to a police station in County Armagh on Monday, prompting residents to be evacuated.
And a pipe bomb was found close to the gates of a police station in the town of Tandragee, mid-Ulster, near the homes of elderly residents.
The booby-trapped device in Belfast was defused in a controlled explosion by the army.
During the last year, police have arrested 115 people suspected of dissident republican activity. Sixty four officers have also been forced to leave their homes because they were thought to be targets of potential attacks.