RAF Marham: Blood From Attacker 'Left on Serviceman's Fists'

Marham
Servicemen walk past a sign at the entrance of RAF Marham airbase in Norfolk, England on July 21. Police are hunting two men after a serviceman was threatened with a knife yesterday near an RAF base in Norfolk. Lindsey Parnaby/Getty

Police looking for two men of "Middle Eastern origin," who attempted to abduct an RAF serviceman at knifepoint outside his military barracks, may have one of the attacker's DNA.

The incident, which police have not yet confirmed a motive for, took place on Wednesday.

The serviceman, who is in his late 20s, was out jogging near RAF Marham, in Norfolk, when he was grabbed by a man, who tried to drag him towards a nearby car. He knocked the first attacker to the floor and an accomplice, carrying a knife, helped the attacker up before both fled in a dark-coloured Ford Galaxy car.

According to reports, police might have the DNA of at least one of two attackers as the serviceman, left "very, very shaken by his ordeal," fought back, with some blood transferring onto his fists.

Norfolk Police Detective Superintendent Paul Durham said that there may have been an element of "pre-planning" and that police were " unable to discount terrorism" as a motive.

He said: "I can confirm we are treating this as an attempted abduction and detailed inquiries are being carried out at the scene to establish the full circumstances.

"The motivation for the attack remains unclear at this time, and whilst we are currently unable to discount terrorism, there are a number of other possible hypotheses. We are therefore carrying out a thorough investigation to understand what has happened, why and who is responsible."

When asked at a press conference if he thought it was a pre-planned attack, Durham replied: ""I would be speculating at the moment but it is difficult to envisage a situation where perhaps there wasn't an element of pre-planning, but it's too early to say for sure.

"It was a regular running route for the victim, it's a regular running route for a number of personnel within RAF Marham; it's a well-trodden path."

Police are keen to trace the two men, a dark-colored people carrier and also the "military-style" knife, with a two-and-a-half to three-inch blade. Durham said it was believed the first man shouted something at the victim, who did not hear what he said because he was listening to music.

Meanwhile, a second military camp was on lockdown after a group of people were seen with a suspected rifle.

Armed officers and a helicopter were scrambled to Bulford military camp, on Salisbury Plain, at 5pm on Thursday as Wiltshire Police responded to reports of a "suspicious incident."

Mayor of Tidworth Chris Franklin said he had been told by a police officer that a runner had reported seeing three people on a ridge near the camp holding what appeared to be a "long-barreled weapon."

Inspector Barry Hickman said: "I can confirm at 5pm yesterday the police attended a report of a suspicious incident close to a military barracks in Wiltshire.

"Police officers attended and conducted a search of the area with the assistance of the police helicopter. No persons were located."

Norfolk Police released descriptions of two suspects in relation to the attempted abduction.

The first suspect is described as between 20 and 30 years old, about 6ft tall, of athletic, stocky build, with dark hair that is long on top. He had a well-groomed beard, was of Middle Eastern origin in appearance, with a dark skin tone, and he wore dark casual clothing.

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