Members of Britain's military and Border Force extinguish a fire at the migrant processing center in Dover | Photo: Peter Nicholls / Reuters
Members of Britain's military and Border Force extinguish a fire at the migrant processing center in Dover | Photo: Peter Nicholls / Reuters

British police have said last week's arson attack on a migrant processing center in Dover was motivated by "extreme right-wing" ideology. The 66-year-old suspected assailant was later found dead.

British police said on Saturday evidence showed that right-wing extremist ideology motivated a firebomb attack on an immigration center in the southern English port city of Dover on October 30.

"Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) ... have recovered evidence that indicates the attack at an immigration centre in Dover on Sunday, 30 October 2022, was motivated by a terrorist ideology," authorities said in a statement.

The evidence recovered suggested that "there was an extreme right-wing motivation behind the attack," police added.

Attacker acted alone

No one was seriously injured in the incident. According to police, the 66-year-old suspect — who was found dead at a nearby service station shortly after the attack — had apparently acted alone.

Tim Jacques, senior national coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said that, though there were "strong indications that mental health was likely a factor," he had concluded that the "suspect's actions were primarily driven by an extremist ideology."

"This meets the threshold for a terrorist incident," Jacques said.

Record number of migrants

The Dover immigration facility is the first stop for thousands of people making the dangerous journey across the English Channel to seek asylum in Britain.

The British government is currently wrestling with how to deal with a record number of migrants crossing the Channel. Since the beginning of the year, an unprecedented 38,000 people have made the perilous journey, the government's home affairs select committee was told on October 26.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said Britain is a compassionate and welcoming place for asylum seekers, but this depends on the country being able to effectively police its borders.

Meanwhile, Sunak's interior minister, Suella Braverman, is facing heavy criticism for describing the arrival of asylum-seekers as "an invasion."

dh/rs (AFP, Reuters)

First published: November 5, 2022

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