An inquest into the death of a suspected firebomber who targeted a migrant centre in Dover has heard that he died due to asphyxiation. 66-year-old Andrew Leak, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, is believed to have killed himself after throwing two or three “crude” explosive devices at the Western Jet Foil site in Kent on October 30.
The inquest into his death began at Maidstone County Hall this morning.
Counter-terrorist police in the region said on Saturday that they thought the attack on the detention centre had been “motivated by a terrorist ideology”.
Investigating officers uncovered evidence on devices recovered following the attack which suggested “an extreme right-wing motivation” behind the firebombing.
Police were called to the Kent immigration processing site at around 11.20am last weekend, and identified the suspect.
He was then found dead at a nearby petrol station. Two members of staff at the Home Office centre were left with minor injuries.
Tim Jacques, senior national coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “This was clearly a very worrying incident and although nobody was seriously hurt, two people did sustain minor injuries.
“Increasingly in counter terrorism casework, across all ideologies, we are seeing individuals who have mental health concerns and a hateful mindset.”
He explained the force had decided to declare the incident as a terrorist one as, “after considering the evidence collected so far in this case, whilst there are strong indications that mental health was likely a factor, I am satisfied that the suspect’s actions were primarily driven by an extremist ideology.
“This meets the threshold for a terrorist incident.”
Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) confirmed that Leak was not known to them prior to the incident, and it is understood he was also not known to the security services.
The force said there was no evidence to suggest the suspect was working with anyone else or that there remained a wider threat to the public.
A Home Office spokesperson previously said that it would not be commenting further on the incident after it was declared a terrorist attack.
Following the incident, 700 people were moved to Manston asylum processing centre near Ramsgate over safety concerns.
More to follow…
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