Terror police probe Dover immigration centre attack

November 1, 2022


Counter terror police are heading the investigation into a petrol bomb attack at an immigration centre in Dover.

Police say the motivation for the assault on the Border Force immigration centre on Sunday was because of “some form of hate filled grievance”.

But the actions by suspect Andrew Leak, 66, who killed himself after the incident, may not cross the threshold of terrorism.

Leak, of High Wycombe, Bucks, is thought to have been behind a series of hate-filled rants on social media against asylum seekers.

He is believed to have thrown petrol bombs outside and into the premises after arriving alone.

According to reports, Leak had driven 120 miles from his home to hurl the devices with fireworks attached at the port.

The suspect’s Seat car was found near the scene at a petrol with Leake dead inside. Two workers at the centre suffered minor injuries in the incident at the Western Jet Foil.

Police believe that he acted alone.


Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) said detectives were “working hard to establish the exact circumstances, including the motivation surrounding this incident”.

Officers are following “a number of lines of enquiry”.

Det Chf Supt Olly Wright, Head of CTPSE, said: ““This was a traumatic incident for everyone involved, and the wider community, and we’re working hard to establish exactly what led to the events on Sunday morning.

“We understand that when counter terrorism policing become involved, it can be worrying for some people, but I would like to reassure people that there is nothing to suggest any ongoing wider threat at this time.

“What appears clear is that this despicable offence was targeted and likely to be driven by some form of hate filled grievance, though this may not necessarily meet the threshold of terrorism.

“At this point, the incident itself has not been declared a terrorist incident, but this is being kept under review as the investigation progresses.”

The suspect had been suffering from “very severe mental health difficulties” according to Sir Roger Gale, MP for Kent constituency Thanet North, on Times Radio. Sir Roger said his thoughts were with Leak’s wider family.

Natalie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover and Deal, said: “With numbers of arrivals spiralling and tensions rising, it’s now vital to see action taken to end the small boats crisis.”

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