A crude explosive device was found in a car forcing police to set up an exclusion zone in Ipswich.Bomb squad officers have dismantled a crude explosive device in the car park of a Queensland shopping centre that police say could have caused serious injuries.
A 37-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman have been charged after a large glass jar containing an explosive liquid and other unspecified “components” were found in a cardboard box inside their car.
The pair had parked a silver sedan – which had false number plates – in the car park of the Redbank Plaza shopping centre at Ipswich, west of Brisbane, on Monday morning, before the centre was open.
Police were called when they were seen acting suspiciously. It’s understood they were caught on security cameras.
Detectives are still trying to unravel the motive after lifting an exclusion zone imposed around the car. But so far there’s nothing to suggest a link to terrorism.
On Monday afternoon police searched a property in Camira and found two more devices which were dismantled by specialist police.
Police allege a firearm and dangerous drugs were also found on the property.
The 37-year-old man was slapped with additional charges including two counts of possessing explosives and one count of posses weapon after being charged earlier in the day with two counts of manufacturing an explosive without authority and possessing dangerous goods.
Asked if the couple intended to explode the device in the car park, Senior Sergeant Gareth James told reporters: “We do not know. I do not know what gain they could have from exploding it in a car park.
“The shopping centre was not open at the time. We believe they were just parked here, the reason being we do not know.”
He said the device was found in a cardboard box and was “capable of causing serious injury to people”.
“All I can say is it was a fairly large glass jar which contained a substance. Not fertiliser (but) there was a liquid in it of an explosive nature.
“It also had a few other components which I won’t go in to.”
He would not say if those components included a detonator.
“It was certainly portable. But I think it’s too early to speculate about what their intentions are. We don’t want to cause panic out there.”
The woman was charged with possessing dangerous goods, among other offences.
They are both due to appear at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday.