LONDON (Reuters) - British police said it carried out a lengthy investigation involving counter-terrorism experts and bomb detection dogs following reports of a blast near Britain’s largest army training site on Saturday, but found no evidence of an explosion.
North Yorkshire Police sealed off about six miles of the A1 motorway, one of Britain’s busiest roads, for more than 14 hours after a number of people reported hearing an explosion at 10.00 p.m. ET near barracks in Catterick, northern England, where more than 13,000 army personnel and their families are based.
“We are satisfied that the call to the police was made in good faith,” said Superintendent Dave Hannan in a statement.
“In view of the location of the suspected explosion, the source of the information, the current threat level to UK security and a report a few hours earlier of a vehicle seen in suspicious circumstances outside the barracks, we were not prepared to take any chances with people’s safety.”
Britain has been on its second highest terrorism threat level of severe, meaning an attack is considered highly likely, since August. Since then dozens of terrorism suspects, including some accused of plotting to kill police officers or soldiers, have been arrested.
On Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May said Britain was facing the biggest terrorism threat in its history. [ID:nL6N0TE21G]
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Ruth Pitchford