Marham attack ‘almost certainly terrorism’, says former army commander

Police seal off a section of Ladywood Road close to RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to the base. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 21, 2016. Officers were on patrol around RAF Marham on Wednesday evening after he was threatened with the blade. See PA story POLICE Serviceman. Photo credit should read: Sam Russell/PA Wire EMN-160721-132319001

Police seal off a section of Ladywood Road close to RAF Marham in Norfolk, after a serviceman was threatened with a knife near to the base. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 21, 2016. Officers were on patrol around RAF Marham on Wednesday evening after he was threatened with the blade. See PA story POLICE Serviceman. Photo credit should read: Sam Russell/PA Wire EMN-160721-132319001

A former commanding officer has told the BBC that the attempted abduction of an RAF Marham serviceman was unlikely to be for any other motive than terrorism.

Col Richard Kemp, who is the former commanding officer of the Royal Anglian Regiment, said: “The description of the individuals is of either Middle Eastern or Asian origin which would certainly suggest the profile that’s most common to Islamic terrorists operating here in the United Kingdom.

“So I think it’s highly likely that with somebody in the vicinity of a military base – obviously a military person out running – attempted abduction is almost certainly going to be terrorism.”

It has not yet been confirmed what the motive of the attempted abduction was.

Police officials said earlier in the week that terrorism could not be discounted but that they continued to follow other lines of enquiry.

Detectives have issued the following descriptions of the suspects:

Suspect 1 is described as between 20 and 30 years old, approximately 6ft tall, of athletic but stocky build, with dark hair which was long on top and had a well-groomed beard. He was of Middle Eastern origin in appearance with a dark skin tone and wore dark casual clothing.

Suspect 2 is described as between 20-30 years old but younger than the first suspect and of a slimmer build. He was approximately 5ft 10, clean shaven with short dark hair. He was also of Middle Eastern origin in appearance and wore a white t-shirt and dark shorts.

Anyone who may have witnessed anything relating to the attack on Wednesday evening is urged to call dedicated hotlines set up on either 0800 056 0154 or 0207 158 0011 with any information.