The firebombing of an immigration centre in Dover was motivated by extreme right-wing terrorist ideology, police have confirmed.
Counter Terrorism Policing South East has confirmed they have recovered evidence indicating that the incident was ‘motivated by a terrorist ideology’.
The incident, which took place on October 30, saw three petrol bombs being thrown towards Manston processing centre before the perpetrator took his own life.
Andrew Leak, 66, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, is believed to have killed himself after throwing two or three ‘crude’ incendiary devices at the Western Jet Foil site, in Kent, last Sunday.
Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) said on Saturday evidence has been recovered that indicates the attack was motivated by an ‘extreme right-wing’ terrorist ideology.
One of the three bombs is understood not to have gone off, while two others are believed to have become ignited
Andrew Leak, 66, was named as the petrol bomber shortly after the incident last Sunday
Leak’s social media contained multiple photos and right-wing posts, including showing him to be a fan of the Joker
The bomb thrown from a window. Another improvised explosive was found in the car after the driver died
The driver left the scene and went to a nearby petrol station where he killed himself
Another fire burns next to the Border Force centre after the firebomb attack in Dover
‘A number of significant witnesses have been spoken to during the course of the investigation and a number of items of interest have been recovered, including digital media devices,’ a statement said.
‘Evidence from examining these items suggests there was an extreme right wing motivation behind the attack.’
Police said there is no evidence Leak was working with anyone else or there is any wider threat to the public.
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 mind-set.
‘Assessing when this crosses the terrorism threshold is a complex process and needs to be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.
‘These decisions need to be determined by the facts, as far as they can be established at any given time.
‘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.’
The man responsible was said to be a suspected paedophile who had threatened to kill himself while being questioned by police.
Leak’s social media profiles were a mixture of him in disturbing masks and in more normal activities, such as being in the pub
Police previously raided a High Wycombe property after the petrol bomber drove ‘more than 100 miles’ to lob three home-made explosives at the Western Jet Foil centre after ‘carrying out a recce’ the night before the attack.
Kent Police and Thames Valley Police began searching the Buckinghamshire property after confirming that the Dover migrant centre firebomber was from the area.
Facebook posts on a now-deleted account under the name of an Andy Leak from High Wycombe contain islamophobia and complaints about people claiming benefits if they do not speak English.
One, shared on August 9, said: ‘The next time the job centre sanctions your money for not looking for enough work ask them about the thousands of people getting benefits cannot speak English and can not write English, how are they looking for work?
‘Unemployment benefits clearly state you cannot claim benefits if not looking for work, all of these people should be excluded from benefits.
‘You can clearly not look for work if you cannot read English or speak English, they are breaking the law, time to stand up.’
Another post, on July 24, said: ‘All Muslims are guilty of grooming, they never spoke out because it wasn’t their daughters, f****** animals wake up up.
‘They only rape non-Muslims that’s a religious hate crime are you f****** stupid.’
Two members of staff at the centre were left with minor injuries after police were called at 11.22am on Sunday morning.
Leak was seen by port security driving past the centre on the dockside several times the night before the attack.
He returned to the centre on Sunday morning and hurled three petrol bombs at a security checkpoint before driving to a nearby petrol station and killing himself.
Both MI5 and counter-terrorism police are being updated as the investigation, run by Kent Police, continues.
This story is being updated.