A man campaigning for a burka ban in Britain found himself surrounded by armed police after he walked into a crowded store wearing one.
Gas fitter Thomas Dunn donned a full burka and rucksack before imitation Muslim prayers in a branch of Debenhams in Exeter, Devon.
Armed ‘terror’ police surrounded the 57-year-old when he sparked panic and confusion by wearing the attire to highlight his one-man campaign against burkas.
Dunn said he targeted the high street chain after it announced it was going to sell Muslim clothing.
He then took off the burka outside the store, where he was stopped under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act.
He was questioned and searched by armed police but later released without charge.
Dunn, from Exeter, said he had dressed in a burka on a few other occasions recently as part of his campaign.
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He said: “I have always been a little intimidated by people wearing burkas and since all the terrorist attacks I think the government should ban anyone from covering their faces as on CCTV it won’t pick up who they are.
“If you see someone wearing a burka you immediately think ‘terrorist’.
“It should be stopped. I have nothing against Muslim people and I’m not racist in any way, but I don’t agree with people covering their faces.”
Dunn acknowledged that his actions might be distressing to others, but said he believed it was necessary to raise awareness of his campaign.
He added: “When you change into a burka you really can see that the way people look at you changes. You see that initial fear in their eyes.
“What I’m doing is not illegal, and I’m definitely going to do it every week or I might increase it to a couple of times a week. I have told the police what I’m doing.”
Police confirmed a man was stopped on Queen Street in Exeter at 12.30pm on Sunday under the terrorism act but was released without charge.