British citizen arrested on terrorism charges over uranium discovery at Heathrow

London: A businessman has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism over an alleged attempt to import radioactive uranium into the UK.

The British national was arrested by anti-terrorist police after traces of substances were discovered in a shipment of scrap metal destined for an Iran-registered UK-based company at Heathrow Airport just after Christmas.

The discovery was made at Heathrow Airport on December 29.

The discovery was made at Heathrow Airport on December 29.Credit:Bloomberg

He was questioned under Section 9 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which constituted a criminal offense “to manufacture or possess radioactive equipment or possess radioactive material with intent to use it” in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism. The section is used very rarely.

Police last night insisted they had found no evidence of a conspiracy and said the incident was not linked to any direct threat to the public.

The arrest of the man, in his 60s, could add to the already heightened tensions between London and Tehran following the execution of a dual British-Iranian citizen accused of spying for MI6.

The Iranian regime has also been accused by British intelligence of being behind at least 10 plots to assassinate or kidnap opponents on Britain’s streets over the past year, and follows a crackdown in Iran on protests that followed the death of a young woman in custody who had done so refused to wear a headscarf.

Britain has said Iran's execution of Alireza Akbari (pictured) would not go unchallenged.

Britain has said Iran’s execution of Alireza Akbari (pictured) would not go unchallenged.Credit:KhabarOnline News Agency via AP

The UK is expected to impose sanctions in the coming weeks on the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is accused of supporting terrorist activities abroad.

The execution last week of Alireza Akbari, a former Iranian deputy defense minister with dual British nationality, prompted the foreign secretary to subpoena the Iranian chargé d’affaires to express his “disgust”. Mr Akbari has been charged with spying for MI6 and claims he was tortured for 3,500 hours before he was executed. Tehran’s military support for Russia in the war with Ukraine has further angered the West.

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Callan Tansill

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