UK: Attack on migrant center in Dover ruled an “act of terrorism”.

UK: Attack on migrant center in Dover ruled an “act of terrorism”.

The attack with incendiary devices on a reception center for migrants in Dover, southern England, last Sunday was a “terrorist act,” said the British anti-terrorist police commissioned with the investigation on Saturday. “Having reviewed the evidence gathered to date, and while strong evidence suggests that the suspect’s mental health is certainly a factor, I am convinced that the suspect’s actions were primarily motivated by ideological extremism, which meets the definition of an act of terrorism.” Tim Jacques, a senior British counter-terrorism police officer, was quoted in a statement.

700 migrants evacuated

Several incendiary devices were thrown at a migrant reception center in Dover at around 11.20am last Sunday. The suspect had traveled alone by car before starting the devices. Two officers were slightly injured and 700 migrants had to be temporarily escorted to another location. The attack came as the UK saw a record number of migrant arrivals on the country’s south coast in small boats. With almost 40,000 who have already managed the dangerous crossing of the English Channel since the beginning of the year, that is already far more than in the whole of 2021.

Suspect Andrew Leak, a 66-year-old man from High Wycombe, north-west London, was found dead in his car shortly after the attack. According to the British press, he would have ended his life, which the authorities have not yet officially confirmed. The findings of the investigations collected so far “suggest that there was a right-wing extremist motivation behind this attack,” explains the anti-terrorist police in their press release.

Isolated Authors

“Currently there are no indications that the man concerned worked with other people and nothing that indicates a further threat at this time,” the police said. Opposition Labor Safety MP Yvette Cooper tweeted that it was “very serious” that the attack had far-right motives and called for “highest vigilance for potential attacks on terrorists or extremists”.

A parliamentary report released last July said the number of far-right terrorist attacks “has not increased significantly in recent years, although there have been a number of cases and convictions” of those who carried out or planned attacks. The threat is increasingly coming from lone gunmen, according to the experts cited in the report, who notably mention the killing of Labor MP Jo Cox in June 2016 by far-right activist Thomas Mair, or the attack by a vehicle on a mosque in London in June 2017


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