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RAF Marham abduction bid men 'part of larger team'

Published 23/07/2016

An armed guard at RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to base
An armed guard at RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to base
Police outside RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to the base
Police close a road close to RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to the base. PA
Police officers were on patrol around RAF Marham after the incident
Aircrew with their Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham
A practice "paveway" laser guided bomb in a hangar with a Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham, the Tornado's based at Marham in Norfolk are to reinforce the Tornado squadron at Akrotiri in Cyprus to assist in missions over Syria to bomb IS after MP's voted on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 2, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Syria. Photo credit should read: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire
Groundcrew work on a Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham as it prepares for a practice mission, the Tornado's based at Marham in Norfolk are to reinforce the Tornado squadron at Akrotiri in Cyprus to assist in missions over Syria. PA

Two people involved in the attempted knifepoint abduction of an RAF serviceman are likely to have been part of a bigger team, police said.

The married serviceman, who is in his late 20s, was out running near RAF Marham, in Norfolk, on Wednesday when he was grabbed by a man who tried to drag him towards a nearby car.

He knocked the first attacker to the floor and an accomplice, carrying a knife, helped him up before both men fled.

The serviceman was said to have been left "very, very shaken by his ordeal".

Police have appealed for witnesses to help track down two "Middle Eastern" men, and on the fourth day of their investigation, said there may have been more people in the car than the two seen by the victim.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Paul Durham, encouraged anyone who thinks they may have seen the dark coloured people carrier, no matter how many people it had inside, to come forward.

He said: "While the victim only witnessed two attackers, there may have been more than two people in the vehicle and, given the nature of the attack, it is likely they were part of a larger team.

"This is important because I do not want to deter any potential witnesses from coming forward; it is the vehicle we are interested in, regardless of the number of people seen inside."

Police, who have now lifted the cordon at the attempted abduction scene on Squires Hill, have also appealed to drivers in Marham or King's Lynn to look at their dash cam footage in case they come across any useful information.

Mr Durham said: "Many people now use these devices and they may contain something that the driver or rider isn't aware of, so I would urge people to review their footage from the week leading up to the incident and contact us if they feel it could assist the inquiry."

Police are keen to trace the two men, a dark-coloured people carrier and also the "military-style" knife, with a two-and-a-half to three-inch blade.

Officers have urged anyone walking or driving along Squires Hill, near to Costcutters in Marham, around the time of the incident on Wednesday, to come forward.

Norfolk Police released descriptions of two suspects of Middle Eastern appearance on Friday as military personnel were reportedly sent a memo warning them about the incident.

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

The second suspect is described as being between 20 and 30 but younger than the first suspect and of a slimmer build. He was approximately 5ft 10in tall, clean-shaven, with short dark hair. He was also of Middle Eastern origin in appearance and wore a white T-shirt and dark shorts.

Military bases were increasingly vigilant after the incident although the threat to the public remains unchanged, police said.

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