Air base security lapse 'dangerous'
CONCERN over “lax security” at a Suffolk US base has been raised after two illegal immigrants from Afghanistan sparked a massive military search.The two men had stowed away in lorry which had then driven into RAF Lakenhealth.
CONCERN over “lax security” at a Suffolk US base has been raised after two illegal immigrants from Afghanistan sparked a massive military search.
The two men had stowed away in lorry which had then driven into RAF Lakenhealth.
The incident was condemned by anti-base campaigners who said it raised “frightening” questions given the base's status as a potential terrorist target.
Base chiefs played down the security breach as a “random mistake” but pledged to look at improvements following Tuesday's incident.
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However, Mell Harrison, a long-term protestor against the USAF base, said: “This amazing incident goes to show how lax and slack security is and it is concerning that two people can get right on to the base just on the back of a truck.
“Security is obviously not what it should be and it is quite ironic that these people were Afghanistan immigrants. This is potentially frightening and shows how dangerous things could be.”
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It is believed the two men, both 17, had boarded the vehicle at Calais, in France, unbeknown to the driver. They entered the base on the lorry but fled when they were seen near the on-site commissary.
Lakenheath security officials were joined by Ministry of Defence (MoD) police in hunting for the men, who were caught off base and arrested.
An MoD spokesman said: “The MoD is at RAF Lakenheath in a policing role and security is one part of that. We are not involved on the entrance gates but security measures on these sites are under constant review.”
A base spokesman said: “This was just a random mistake but has led to us changing our procedures, although for our force protection we cannot say what these changes are. The security personnel in question won't be disciplined and we are confident that this won't happen again.”
A spokesman for Suffolk Police said the male immigrants were now in the hands of social services and the UK Border Agency.