UK: Counter-terrorism unit arrests man arriving at Gatwick from Iraq

The Guardian

A man from Hertfordshire has been arrested at Gatwick airport as he arrived from Iraq on suspicion of plotting terrorist acts.

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit initially stopped the 44-year-old under schedule 7 of the 2010 Terrorism Act as he left the plane.

The man was later arrested under section 5 of the 2006 Terrorism Act – suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts – and taken to a central London police station where he remains in custody.

The schedule 7 powers allow officers to stop and search individuals without suspicion in ports and hold them for questioning for up to six hours – but a mandatory detention takes place where an examination lasts for more than one hour.

A total of 21,651 people were examined under the power in Britain in the year to September, according to the most recent Home Office figures, of which 1,665 resulted in detention.

The official threat assessment to the UK from international terrorism is severe, meaning an attack is highly likely. Hundreds of Britons are suspected of travelling to Iraq and Syria in the last few years to fight for Islamic State and other extremist groups. Security services believe as many as half could have returned to the UK.