A man in his 60s has been arrested on suspicion of a terror offence after traces of uranium were found at Heathrow airport at the end of December, Scotland Yard has said.
The identity of the businessman remains unclear, but it is suggested he is involved in a company importing scrap metal. It is understood to have been contained within metal bars which originated in Pakistan and had been placed in the hold of an Oman Air passenger jet at Muscat Airport en route to London. . . a consignment of scrap metal intended for an Iranian registered business based in the UK. Who in a legitimate business transports scrap metal (heavy and relatively low value) by air (very expensive)?
The man was arrested after counter-terrorism officers searched an address in Cheshire on Saturday, on suspicion of an offence under section 9 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which covers the making and possession of radioactive devices. The use of the section is incredibly rare.
He has been released on bail until April, the Metropolitan police said.
The arrest of the man, who is in his 60s, could impact already heightened tensions between London and Tehran following the execution of a British-Iranian dual national charged with spying for MI6.
The Iranian regime has also been accused by British intelligence services of being behind at least 10 plots to murder or kidnap opponents on UK streets in the last year.
On Sunday, police insisted they had found no evidence of a plot and said that the incident was not believed to be linked to any direct threat to the public. . . no material had been found at the arrested man’s home that could pose a threat to the public.
Senior sources inside the police said the arrest was necessary for officers to rule out any wrongdoing, but remained insistent there was no threat posed by the discovery of the minute traces of uranium. “The focus of the investigation is really to make sure there is no malign intent linked to this,” said a source.