British anti-terror police began an investigation after a package containing uranium arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport on a passenger flight.
“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 on December 29, 2022,” the Metropolitan Police stated.
The first to publish the story was the British journal The Sun, according to which, the package arrived on a passenger flight from Oman, but originated in Pakistan and was destined for Iranian nationals in the UK. The dangerous cargo was detected by special scanners at Heathrow and isolated in a dedicated radioactive room.
“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,” said Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s SO15 counter-terror. ‘’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 enquiry to ensure this is definitely the case,” he added.
Uranium is a radioactive substance, used by nuclear power plants as fuel, dangerous if not handled properly. “Uranium can give off very high levels of poisonous radiation. It could be used in a dirty bomb,” said Hamish De Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the UK’s nuclear defence regiment. “The good news is the system worked and it has been interdicted.”