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Man held over RAF base incident detained under Mental Health Act

Suffolk Police said the incident is not being treated as terrorism.

A man arrested after a disturbance at an RAF base during which shots were fired by US service personnel has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

The 44-year-old British man was apprehended at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk on Monday after a vehicle failed to follow security directions at a checkpoint and drove onto the base.

There was a “short pursuit” and the vehicle was stopped by US security services near to a US plane, an Osprey, Suffolk Police said.

The incident is not being treated as terrorism and the man, who suffered cuts and bruises during the incident, was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass and criminal damage.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: “Police can confirm that a 44-year-old British man arrested in connection with an incident at RAF Mildenhall has been detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.”

The base, which is used by the US Air Force, was put on lockdown at around 1.40pm on Monday.

Superintendent Kim Warner, of Suffolk Police, said there would be an internal investigation by the base into the shots fired and the security breach.

The police investigation into the incident is continuing and the force earlier said there was “no wider threat to the public or occupants on the base and no other people have been injured as a result of the incident”.

In November last year, then defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said RAF Mildenhall was one of 56 Ministry of Defence sites earmarked for closure.

The base, which is used by the US Air Force, was put on lockdown at around 1.40pm on Monday (Sam Russell/PA)

The base, due to shut in 2022, is home to the US Air Force’s 100th Air Refuelling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing.

It is believed to be home to around 3,000 military personnel and their families, and has previously been identified as a potential target for terrorists.

In May 2016, Junead Khan was given a life sentence at Kingston Crown Court for planning a strike against American military personnel in Britain.

Khan, of Luton, used his job as a delivery driver to scout bases including Mildenhall and nearby RAF Lakenheath the previous year.

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