An investigation has been launched by counter-terrorism police after a shipment of scrap metal at Heathrow Airport was found to contain uranium.
The package originated in Pakistan and arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 via an Oman Air flight from Muscat in Oman on 29 December and was destined for an Iranian business with a premises in the UK before it was seized by security, The Sunfirst reported.
Uranium is a radioactive material that is used as a fuel in nuclear power stations but the element can also be used to build "dirty" bombs and nuclear weapons.
The Metropolitan police said the package doesn't seem to be linked with any active plot, though questions remain over its intended use, with one line of inquiry being whether it was the result of “poor handling," BBC reported.
However, Commander Richard Smith, the head of the Met’s counter-terror has stressed that the amount found was "extremely small" and is "no threat to the public."
He 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 enquiry to ensure this is definitely the case.”
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 on 29 December 2022.”
Meanwhile, a Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson told BBC News that the reports were "not factual," and no information to this effect had been shared officially with Pakistan.
The Home Office said as per The Sun: "We do not comment on live investigations."
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