In the Media

Police investigate 'irresponsible' home-made bomb video

PUBLISHED May 17, 2012

The 26-second clip came to light after a 52-year-old man and a 31-year-old man were arrested by Gloucestershire Police on Saturday after the suspicious items were found in a garage in Cheltenham.

More than 100 families were evacuated from their homes for a night and a 600ft cordon was erected around the garage in Buttermere Close in the Up Hatherley area.

Although the video is thought to be a fake it has alarmed local residents, already on edge after the recent scare.

In the YouTube video, which is entitled "Home made bomb in Cheltenham" and has been viewed more than 800 times, a man wearing a grey hooded top and blue jeans holds up a package to the camera, saying it is his "video application" for Al Qaeda.

He is seen placing the device in a garage behind a bush before an explosion sets off car alarms and he falls to the ground. Debris that can be seen flying out of the garage disappears a second later, indicating it may be fake footage.

It was uploaded to the site in January 2011 by the user nichard71, a 40-year-old member of the video-sharing website.

A spokesman for the South East Counter Terrorism Unit said it was not believed to be linked to the current investigation under the Explosive Substance Act.

Cheltenham Superintendent Neil Mantle said: "We can find no incidents reported to Gloucestershire Police that suggest this is genuine footage although it has been passed to officers for further investigation as to its origin.

"Making footage like this is extremely irresponsible and can cause unnecessary concern within the community. Anyone with information about this should contact police."

Rachael Kelly, a mother-of-one, who was evacuated from her home in Cheltenham over the weekend, said the events of the weekend had left many feeling unsettled and was worried when she saw the video.

"I'm just really sensitive about it after the weekend," she said.

"My little boy is traumatised. We're grateful to the police for what they did but it's just concerning and little children don't understand what is going on."

Police have until Friday, May 18 to charge or release the two men being held before they have to apply for an extension.