Police call attack on migrant center in Dover ‘an act of terrorism’

The words are chosen. British police have described the incendiary attack on a migrant reception center in Dover, southern England, last Sunday as an “act of terrorism” this Saturday. “Having reviewed the evidence gathered to date, and while there is strong evidence that (the suspect’s) mental health is certainly a factor, I am satisfied that the suspect’s actions were primarily motivated by ideological extremism, which meets the definition of an act of terrorism,” Tim Jacques, senior British counter-terrorism police officer, was quoted as saying in a press release.

Last Sunday at around 12.20pm several incendiary devices were thrown at a migrant reception center in Dover. The suspect had arrived alone by car before launching the devices. Two officers were slightly injured and 700 migrants had to be temporarily escorted to another location.

“A far-right motivation”

The suspect, Andrew Leak, a 66-year-old man who lives in 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 elements collected so far in the investigation “suggest that there was an extreme right-wing motivation behind this attack”, explains the anti-terrorist police in its press release. “There is currently no indication that the man involved has been working with other people and there is no indication that a wider threat exists at this time,” police said.

The attack comes as Britain records a record number of migrants arriving on the country’s southern shores in small boats, with almost 40,000 having already crossed the perilous channel since the start of the year, far more than in all of 2021.

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