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British police arrest man on terrorism charges after uranium is found in package at London airport

Police in the United Kingdom arrested a man on terrorism charges Saturday after trace amounts of uranium were discovered in a cargo package at Heathrow Airport in London two weeks ago. 

The suspect, a man in his 60s whose identity has not been released, was arrested at a home in northwestern England. He was booked at a police station and released on bail today. 

“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,” Richard Smith, the head of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter-Terrorism Command, said in a statement on Sunday. 

“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.”

The UK’s Border Force originally detected a “very small amount of uranium” in a cargo package containing scrap metal during a routine screening at Heathrow Airport on Dec. 29. 

Woman walking thru airport.
The man was booked at a police station and released on bail Sunday.
Getty Images

A search of the suspect’s home address did not turn up any material that could be a threat to the public, according to police. 

The package arrived at Heathrow Airport on a passenger flight from Oman, The Guardian reports. It was bound for an “Iranian business with premises in the UK,” according to the British newspaper.

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