A British businessman was jailed after a trace amount of radioactive uranium was discovered as he was moving through London’s Heathrow Airport.
After searching the 60-year-old British man’s belongings and finding small amounts of uranium, counterterrorism police detained the man at Heathrow on Dec. 20. The uranium was found in a consignment of scrap metal to be used for an Iranian registered business based in the United Kingdom, The Telegraph reports.
The British citizen was detained by police after D discovery of traces of uranium … in a consignment of scrap metal intended for an Iranian registered business based in the UK.
Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after uranium found at Heathrow https://t.co/a0FSknFth9
— Mostafa (@Sed_Morteza) January 15, 2023
The man was investigated under section nine of the Terrorism Act 2006, which, per Just The News, created an offense “of making or possessing a radioactive device or possessing radioactive material with the intention of using it” when readying for an act of terrorism. That part of the law is seldom used, according to the outlet.
Authorities said Sunday that there was no indication of a sinister plot and that no threats were posed to the public.
The businessman was locked up Saturday morning before he posted bail on Sunday.
Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command head, Commander Richard Smith, spoke on the incident Sunday.
“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,” Smith said.
“Our priority since launching our investigation has been to ensure that there is no linked direct threat to the public,” Smith continued. “To this end, we are following every possible line of inquiry 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,” added the commander. “However, detectives are continuing with their inquiries to ensure this is definitely the case.”
Some reports have claimed the uranium was stored inside metal bars originating from Pakistan.
Defense and security analyst Professor Michael Clarke of Sky News published a segment offering his opinion on how uranium could have ended up at Heathrow Airport.