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the attack on a migrant center in Dover, an “act of terror” by the far right

“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.

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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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.

Opposition Labor Security MP Yvette Cooper tweeted that it was “very serious” that the attack had far-right motives and called for “highest vigilance against potential attacks”, 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 people who have committed or planned attacks.

The threat is increasingly coming from lone perpetrators, according to experts cited in the report, who cite in particular the murder of Labor MP Jo Cox in June 2016 by far-right activist Thomas Mair, or the June 2017 attack on a vehicle against a mosque in London.

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