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RAF Marham Base Knife Threat Treated As 'Attempted Abduction' As Police 'Unable To Discount Terrorism'

Police said they are 'unable to discount terrorism'.

21/07/2016 12:05 | Updated 22 July 2016

An attack against a serviceman outside an RAF base in Norfolk on Wednesday is being treated it as an attempted abduction. 

Police said they are “unable to discount terrorism” following the attack on the serviceman outside the RAF Marham base yesterday.

A police hunt is currently underway to locate the two suspects, who fled the scene in a dark coloured people carrier after the victim fought them off.

The serviceman, who is in his twenties, was jogging between 2.55pm and 3.26pm at Squires Hill when he was accosted by the two men.

Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Police outside RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to the base.

Police said the first suspect shouted at the serviceman and made an attempt to grab him.

The victim successfully fought him off causing the suspect to fall to the ground.

The second man then approached the victim but on noticing his accomplice on the ground went towards him instead, at which point the victim ran off.

The second man was armed with a knife which has not been located at this time.

The incident shares some elements of the attack on Fusilier Lee Rigby, although the serviceman, who was not in uniform, was not injured.

Detective Superintendent Paul Durham, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, said: “I can confirm we are treating this as an attempted abduction and detailed enquiries are being carried out at the scene to establish the full circumstances.

“The motivation for the attack remains unclear at this time, and whilst we are currently unable to discount terrorism, there are a number of other possible hypotheses.

“We are therefore carrying out a thorough investigation to understand what has happened, why and who is responsible.

“Visible patrols continue in the area and officers will be carrying out house-to-house enquiries and detailed searches of the scene in Squires Hill, which remains closed for the time being.” 

Sam Russell/PA Wire
Police are hunting two men after a serviceman was threatened with a knife in Norfolk.

Police have released details of the suspects known to be involved:

  • Suspect 1 is described as between 20 and 30 years old, approximately 6ft tall, of athletic but stocky build, with dark hair which was long on top and had a well-groomed beard. He was of Middle Eastern origin in appearance with a dark skin tone and wore dark casual clothing.

  • Suspect 2 is described as between 20-30 years old but younger than the first suspect and of a slimmer build. He was approximately 5ft 10, clean shaven with short dark hair. He was also of Middle Eastern origin in appearance and wore a white t-shirt and dark shorts.

Officers were on patrol around the RAF base yesterday evening following the incident.

Streets around the area were sealed off while an investigation took place and the road where the incident occurred stayed closed on Wednesday evening. 

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We are aware of an ongoing police operation in relation to an incident near RAF Marham. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Fusilier Rigby was murdered by Islamic extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale outside Woolwich Barracks, south east London, in 2013.

The pair first drove into the soldier, who was not in uniform, before attacking him with knives. 

Anyone who may have seen the vehicle described in the King’s Lynn area, particularly towards Marham, between midday and 6pm on Wednesday is asked to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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