Man in his 60s arrested and released on bail after traces of uranium were found within a cargo package when it landed at Heathrow Airport sparking a major counter-terror probe
A man in his 60s has been arrested after traces of uranium were discovered within a cargo package at Heathrow Airport.
The undeclared package originated in Pakistan before arriving at Heathrow’s Terminal Four aboard an Oman Air passenger jet from Muscat on December 29
Specialist scanners operated by the UK Border Force detected the hidden uranium during routine check, before officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command were contacted.
Officers attended an address in Cheshire yesterday morning, where a man in his 60s was arrested on suspicion of an offence under Section 9 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
A man has been arrested in connection with an investigation into a shipment of uranium that was seized at Heathrow airport earlier this week
The undeclared material was discovered on December 29 on a passenger flight which arrived from Oman
He was taken to a police station in the north west of England, where he was today released on bail until a date in April.
Specialist officers carried out a search at the same address at which the man was arrested.
The search has now completed and no material that could be a threat to the public was found, a police spokesperson said.
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, added: ‘The discovery of what was a very small amount of uranium within a package at Heathrow Airport is clearly of concern, but it shows the effectiveness of the procedures and checks in place with our partners to detect this type of material.
‘Our priority since launching our investigation has been to ensure that there is no linked direct threat to the public. To this end, we are following every possible line of enquiry available to us, which has led us to making this arrest over the weekend.
‘I want to be clear that despite making this arrest, and based on what we currently know, this incident still does not appear to be linked to any direct threat to the public.
‘However, detectives are continuing with their enquiries to ensure this is definitely the case.’
Specialist scanners operated by the UK Border Force detected the hidden uranium during routine checks.
The package was then rushed to a freight shed which contains a dedicated isolation room for radioactive material.
But sources confirmed that the uranium found in a very small quantity was not ‘weapons-grade’ and could not be used to manufacture a thermonuclear weapon.