Man drove through hail of bullets into US airbase following major security breach

Ben Farmer
RAF Mildenhall was placed on lockdown after the security scare - GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

A US Airforce base in Suffolk suffered a major security breach when a driver forced his way through the main security checkpoint.

American military guards opened fire as the car travelled a significant way inside RAF Mildenhall after passing through a hail of bullets - stopping just metres short of a military aircraft, The Telegraph understands.

Suffolk Police confirmed a 44-year-old British man forced his way onto the airfield at RAF Mildenhall on Monday afternoon, having initially entered into a dispute at the base's entrance.

The incident triggered a security lockdown.  Suffolk Police confirmed the incident was not terrorist-related and a 44-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.

A spokesman said: “Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.” 

If you enter a military base forcibly, you would expect an armed response.

Defence source

The driver approached the main gate of the US base, which is manned by both US Air Force personnel and Ministry of Defence police.

Military guards on duty after the RAF Mildenhall security scare Credit: Geoff Robinson/GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Suffolk police said: “Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.

“No other people have been injured as a result of the incident.”

Suffolk Police says officers are responding to reports of a "significant incident at RAF Mildenhall" Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

A defence source said opening fire in such a situation was standard practice for the personnel guarding a base.

The source said: “If you enter a military base forcibly you would expect an armed response.”

RAF Mildenhall is home to the 352nd Special Operations Wing which carries out missions to support America’s special forces. It is also home to the 100th Air Refuelling Wing of fuel tankers.

The air base was built in 1930, but has been a US-operated base since 1959. America has announced its forces will leave the base next decade, some time after 2024.

Junead Khan, a delivery driver from Luton, was convicted last year of plotting to behead a US serviceman in Britain outside RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

His trial heard that he may have been planning to carry out an attack on Westminster.

It was also revealed that he had posted a video on YouTube called 'ISIS drives around Westminster', which featured music praising the terror group.

3:45PM

Suffolk Police: No wider threat

Here's the latest from Suffolk Police: "We are continuing to deal with an ongoing incident at RAF Mildenhall, it is considered that there is no wider threat to the public or occupants on the base.

"One man has been arrested and police are not looking for anyone else on the site."

3:14PM

Police update: Shots were fired and man detained

A force spokesman said: "Suffolk Police were contacted at approximately 1.40pm today to reports of a disturbance at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

"The base was put into lockdown and units responded immediately.

Police road block at RAF Mildenhall Credit: GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

"Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.

"No other people have been injured as a result of the incident.

"Suffolk Police remain on site and further updates will be issued."

 

3:07PM

US military 'shot at suspect'

It is being reported that US military personnel opened fire on the suspect as he tried to enter RAF Mildenhall, and that the suspect was then detained with cuts and bruises.

So far neither police or the base have confirmed this.

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