Counter-terror probe launched after uranium seized at Heathrow  

Heathrow
By Lisa James
11/01/2023
Home » Counter-terror probe launched after uranium seized at Heathrow  

An investigation is underway after metal contaminated with uranium was seized at Heathrow Airport.

The Sun, which broke the story, says the uranium was found in a shipment of scrap metal, which came from Pakistan, via Oman on an Oman Air passenger flight on 29 December.

The newspaper said alarms were triggered at Heathrow after specialist scanners detected the substance as it was ferried to a freight shed owned by handling firm Swissport.

The Metropolitan Police said: “We can confirm officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command were contacted by Border Force colleagues at Heathrow after a very small amount of contaminated material was identified after routine screening within a package incoming to the UK.”

Commander Richard Smith of the Met said: “I want to reassure the public that the amount of contaminated material was extremely small and has been assessed by experts as posing no threat to the public.

“Although our investigation remains ongoing, from our inquiries so far it does not appear to be linked to any direct threat. As the public would expect, however, we will continue to follow up on all available lines of inquiry to ensure this is definitely the case.”

Uranium is a natural metal, but can be dangerous to humans because it is an essential nuclear element.

No arrests have been made.

The Sun says the metal was destined for Iranian nationals in the UK, originated from Pakistan and arrived at Terminal 4 on an Oman Air flight from Muscat.

Former commander of the UK’s nuclear defence regiment Hamish De Bretton-Gordon told the newspaper: “For uranium to turn up on a commercial airliner from Pakistan to an Iranian address in the UK is very suspect.

“The good news is the system worked and it has been interdicted.”

The Home Office said it doesn’t comment on live investigations. Heathrow said it is not commenting further to the Met Police’s statement.

Travel Gossip has contacted Oman Air for a comment.

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