Heathrow uranium: Arrest made in Cheshire under Terrorism Act after radioactive traces found

Police say they do not believe the find relates to ‘any direct threat to the public’.

Police have made an arrest in connection with uranium found at Heathrow Airport in December.

A man in his 60s was arrested in Cheshire on suspicion of an offence under Section 9 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command says “the incident still does not appear to be linked to any direct threat to the public”.

Traces of uranium were discovered in a cargo package at Heathrow Airport on December 29 2022 during a routine screening.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Counter Terrorism Command, said: “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.

“Our priority since launching our investigation has been to ensure that there is no linked direct threat to the public. To this end, we are following every possible line of enquiry 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.

“However, detectives are continuing with their enquiries to ensure this is definitely the case.”

Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command were contacted by Border Force officers at Heathrow after a cargo package containing scrap metal was found to be contaminated with a very small amount of uranium.

On Saturday morning (January 1) couter-terrorism police attended an address in Cheshire, supported by colleagues from Cheshire Police and Counter Terrorism Police North West and made the arrest.

The man was taken to a police station in north west England, and was today released on bail until a date in April.

Specialist officers carried searched the same address but found no material that could be a threat to the public.