S. Africa police arrest man for UK terror blackmail

12th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African police said Saturday they had arrested a 64-year-old businessman on terrorism charges for allegedly threatening to deploy a biological weapon in Britain.

"The suspect repeatedly, through letters and emails, demanded an amount of $4 million (three million euros) in exchange for not deploying a biological agent within the borders of the United Kingdom," the national police force said in a statement.

"This biological agent, if deployed, would have caused the destruction of property and resulted in major economic loss."

National police spokeswoman Sally de Beer said investigators could not release details on the biological agent involved, but the statement said police considered it a "very serious threat."

A similar threat had also been made against the United States, police said.

The arrest followed a six-month investigation by South African and British police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the statement said.

The man was arrested Saturday morning near the small resort town of Hartbeespoort in South Africa's North West province, and will appear in court Monday, police said.

© 2011 AFP

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