Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two high-profile fans of the club have had parcel bombs sent to them, according to Scottish police.The packages addressed to Lennon, Scottish Labour politician Trish Godman and lawyer Paul McBride, were discovered in post offices across west Scotland, and were initially believed to be hoaxes.
However, police announced on Tuesday that they were launching an investigation after discovering the devices were a serious threat.
“They were viable devices designed to cause harm,” a police spokesman said. “We are treating the matter very seriously.”
Police have already stated they do not believe the bombs were linked to terrorist groups.
It is not the first time that Lennon has received sectarian threats during his playing and managerial career.
The former Northern Ireland international, who is a Catholic, was assaulted by two men in Glasgow in 2009, only months after having bullets sent to him in the mail.
The 39-year-old retired from international football in 2002 after receiving death threats.
The sectarian violence which continues to divide Ireland has often spread across to nearby Scotland, and the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond condemned the actions of those involved.
“Let us be quite clear – there is a major police investigation under way to ensure that the individual or individuals concerned are identified and apprehended, and then brought to book with the full force of the law,” Salmond said.
“These disgraceful events should remind all of us who love the game of football of what unites us as a community.”
“It is time to remember what we value in society, and unite to condemn those who use football as a pretext for their pathetic and dangerous prejudices.”