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UK: Military base on high-alert after another suspected abduction attempt of soldiers


Another military base on high alert as police investigate ‘suspicious’ men in a car outside Aldershot barracks – two weeks after an abduction attempt at RAF Marham

  • Police investigating two men ‘acting suspiciously’ in a Renault Clio
  • Soldiers at Aldershot ‘are warned not to wear their uniforms to work’
  • Military have been on high alert after two men tried to abduct RAF man 
  • Incident was reported by a civilian staff member working at the base 

Another  military base was on high alert today after two men were seen acting suspiciously, just weeks after an abduction attempt at RAF Marham.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that two men had tried to kidnap a serviceman, close to the garrison in Aldershot, Hampshire at around 8.15am, and soldiers were said to have been warned not to wear their uniforms to work or in the town.

However, police later confirmed that no soldier had been involved in the incident, which had been reported by a member of civilian staff working at the barracks.

They said there is no evidence to suggest a crime had taken place, but are investigating reports of two men acting suspiciously in a blue Renault Clio, close to the garrison in Aldershot, Hampshire at around 8.15am.

A soldier was today at the centre of a fresh kidnap scare after men were seen acting suspiciously outside his base, just two weeks after an abduction attempt at RAF Marham 

Soldiers were reportedly warned not to wear their uniforms to work or in the town (file photo)

Soldiers were reportedly warned not to wear their uniforms to work or in the town (file photo).

A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: ‘We were called to a suspicious incident at 8.42am today at the junction between Queens Avenue and Hospital Hill, Aldershot.

‘Two men were seen acting suspiciously in a blue Renault Clio.

‘At this stage there is nothing to suggest that a crime has been committed but we are looking into why the two men had stopped the car on this stretch of road.

‘No contact was made between the two men and the person reporting the incident who is a civilian member of staff who works within the military complex at Aldershot.’

The incident is said to have happened close to a church near to Aldershot Garrison (pictured)

The incident is said to have happened close to a church near to Aldershot Garrison (pictured)

Security was said to have been stepped up at the garrison, and the number of guards by the gates  increased

Security was said to have been stepped up at the garrison, and the number of guards by the gates increased.

A post on the military-themed Fill Your Boots Facebook page said: ‘ALERT ALERT ALERT. Please pass round.

‘Unsure whether it’s the same blokes from Marham but there was an attempted abduction of a bloke in Aldershot by two blokes in a blue Renault Clio.’

On that occasion, the RAF victim was able to headbutt one of the attackers before fleeing, despite a knife being brandished during the struggle.

 A later post said: ‘ALERT CONFIRMED. Just been briefed by our colonel and told no uniforms to be worn to work and out in town.

A post on the military-themed Fill Your Boots Facebook page said this morning that there had been an attempted abduction

A post on the military-themed Fill Your Boots Facebook page said this morning that there had been an attempted abduction

A later post said: 'ALERT CONFIRMED. Just been briefed by our colonel and told no uniforms to be worn to work and out in town'

A later post said: ‘ALERT CONFIRMED. Just been briefed by our colonel and told no uniforms to be worn to work and out in town’

‘The incident happened at 8.15am this morning by the church near Aldershot Garrison.

‘They do not believe the potential kidnappers were able to get hold of the man.

‘It was one male squaddie outside the garrison.

‘Two reports say he was jogging, one says he was on his way into work in kit. The gate guards have been increased.’

 Servicemen have been on high alert following an attempted abduction of a servicemen at RAF Marham, Norfolk, on July 20. Police are continuing to hunt for two attackers who tried to drag their victim into a car.

Servicemen have been on high alert following an attempted abduction of a servicemen at RAF Marham, Norfolk, on July 20

Servicemen have been on high alert following an attempted abduction of a servicemen at RAF Marham, Norfolk, on July 20

Police are investigating reports of two men acting suspiciously in a blue Renault Clio, close to the garrison in Aldershot, Hampshire at around 8.15am 

Police are investigating reports of two men acting suspiciously in a blue Renault Clio, close to the garrison in Aldershot, Hampshire at around 8.15am.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: ‘The police are investigating at the moment. They will rule if it was an incident or not.’

Aldershot Garrison, also known as Aldershot Military Town, has long been seen as the home of the British Army ever since it was established in 1854.

It covers approximately 500 acres, and has a population of around 10,500 people.

In 1972, the garrison was the site of one of the worst UK mainland IRA attacks when a car bomb was detonated outside the headquarters mess of the 16 Parachute Brigade.

The Official IRA claimed responsibility for the attack which claimed six lives, including five women and an army priest.

The IRA said the attack was revenge for the events in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on January 30 1972 when 13 civilians were shot dead by the Parachute Regiment.

At the time of the attack, Aldershot garrison was an entirely open garrison, but steps were taken to step up security afterwards with armed security patrols and fences.

The site is now home to the headquarters of the Army’s Support Command, and it is also the administrative base for the 101st Logistic Brigade.

In total, it hosts around 70 military units and organisations.


HIGH ALERT FOR MILITARY AFTER MARHAM SNATCH ATTEMPT 

The military has been on high alert since two attackers tried to kidnap a serviceman at knifepoint as he jogged close to RAF Marham in Norfolk.

The men, who are both of Middle Eastern appearance, attempted to bundle an airman into a car as he jogged near an airbase two weeks ago.

Although the force has not ruled out terrorism – it said the attack could have been a case of mistaken identity over a drugs debt or a domestic dispute.

Police are continuing to hunt for two attackers who tried to drag an RAF serviceman into a car as he jogged close to RAF Marham

Police are continuing to hunt for two attackers who tried to drag an RAF serviceman into a car as he jogged close to RAF Marham.

Police have received more than 150 calls from the public – but none have been confirmed sightings of the pair.

Officers have trawled through hours CCTV footage without finding any images of the dark-coloured people carrier used by the suspects.

The married serviceman in his late 20s was targeted on July 20 about a mile from the gates of the base, which is home to four squadrons of Tornado bombers flying missions against Islamic State.

The airman told police one of his assailants had a combat-style knife with a three-inch blade.

He had gone for a run outside the military base when the first suspect leapt out at him from a parked car.

Police have received more than 150 calls from the public – but none have been confirmed sightings of the pair. Pictured are military police outside RAF Marham after the attack

Police have received more than 150 calls from the public – but none have been confirmed sightings of the pair. Pictured are military police outside RAF Marham after the attack

The attacker grabbed the runner’s shoulder and then his wrist and tried to drag him towards the dark-coloured people carrier ‘with a degree of force’, police said.

The airman fought back and knocked the man to the ground, but then saw a second man running towards him with the knife.

When the second suspect saw his accomplice on the floor he headed towards him and the airman was able to escape.

The running route is used regularly by base personnel and is only some 400m from its married quarters, meaning the two men could have been lying in wait for a lone victim they could abduct.

The airman, who was ‘very, very shaken’ by his ordeal, was wearing running clothes which did not show any military insignia.

He said his first assailant shouted something, but he was listening to music through earphones and did not hear what was said.

Within hours of the attack, servicemen at RAF Marham were warned to keep a low profile and not to travel alone amid fears that the attack was a Lee Rigby-style terrorist plot.

In an MoD memo sent to military personnel, protective security chief Rich Curzon said: ‘Following an incident at RAF Marham, it is directed that all personnel keep a low profile and not make themselves vulnerable.

‘Until the threat subsides, no one is to be on their own on foot, or on a bicycle, within the local area in uniform or clothing which might identify them with the military.’

Both suspects are said to be of Middle Eastern origin and between 20 and 30 years old. The first is about 6ft, with dark hair and a beard. The second is younger and about 5ft 10in.

Detective Superintendent Paul Durham, who is leading the inquiry, said: ‘Regarding the search for our suspects, we are not focusing on any specific area and I’m keeping an open mind as to where they are from.

‘It’s evident the would-be attackers have underestimated the victim’s ability to fight back. There is no credible evidence this is a terrorist incident, but that remains one of a number of possibilities.’

Two men matching the description of the assailants were spotted outside an army base on Friday – prompting a security alert.

A report on a Facebook page used by military servicemen warned that two men resembling the e-fit images of the suspects were seen outside Colchester army barracks. A similar vehicle to the one described by the victim was also spotted.

Hours later police confirmed that the sighting was not related to the incident at RAF Marham.

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