The intruder who was shot at and arrested after storming a US Air Force base in Britain had a teddy bear strapped to his body, it was revealed today.
Military personnel fired shots after the man armed with the cuddly toy rammed his vehicle through the gates of RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk yesterday afternoon.
The suspect became involved in an 'altercation' with guards at the main checkpoint at the base after he pretended he was a senior military official.
Videos show a cordon surrounding a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey (pictured) a few hours after the incident, which Suffolk Police do not believe to be terror-related
It is currently unclear how far into the base he was able to reach, however aerial footage seems to suggest he may have reached a runway at the centre of the site
Members of the US armed forces stand at the entrance to RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk yesterday
It is thought the man who allegedly rammed his car into a gate at a US Air Force base in Britain may have been trying to reach a military plane
When military police refused to let him through, he forced the car through the entrance, sparking a security alert in which the base was placed in lockdown.
Sources said he got close to the base's V22 Ospreys, a £43million 'heli-plane' nicknamed the Transformer, before he was apprehended.
The British suspect was detained with cuts and bruises. No other people were injured during the 'significant' incident, Suffolk Police said.Last night his motive was unknown, although defences sources played down suggestions it could be terrorist-related.
It is understood the man claimed to be someone 'important within the military establishment' when he was confronted at the base's main gates, although he did not specify a specific individual.
US military personnel opened fire when the man ignored guards, including both American and UK Ministry of Defence police, and drove onto the base just after 1pm.
It has been claimed that the suspect is a British citizen who pretended to be someone he was not - possibly a senior military figure - to get through a checkpoint
A police car is pictured at the scene following the incident at RAF Mildenhall yesterday
Police rushed to the RAF Mildenhall base (pictured yesterday) in Suffolk to respond to the alert
The man was detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody after the incident
An RAF source said: 'If you enter a military base forcibly you would expect an armed response. He was quite lucky to be in one piece.'
It is understood the suspect was not armed and no explosives were found in his vehicle.
Security staff locked down the base - which is used to refuel US and Nato aircraft in Europe - for several hours as the incident unfolded.
A member of staff at Jumppin Jacks Funhouse, a soft play centre in Mildenhall, said 'All the American children playing here suddenly left, but we didn't hear anything or know why.'
A villager who lives nearby said: 'This guy is lucky to be alive. The guards at the base do not mess around and he could easily have been shot dead.'
It is believed that the man was taken away in a prison van which was seen being driven away at speed, escorted by a UK police car and two US vehicles with blue lights flashing.
Police confirmed that US personnel fired shots during the incident at around 1.40pm
The base was put on lockdown amid reports of a car being rammed into a checkpoint
Suffolk Police said that while the incident was ongoing, there was no wider threat to the public
A defence source said a car tried to force its way into RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk (file picture)
Police rushed to RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk to respond to the 'significant security alert'
Security at RAF Mildenhall was increased after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 with the construction of a new entrance and gatehouse which all vehicles have to pass through.
Suffolk Police said officers responded to 'reports of a disturbance' at the base at 1.40pm.
The force added in a statement: 'The base was put into lockdown and units responded immediately. Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.'
A police spokesman was last night unable to confirm whether the matter was being treated as terrorist-related.
The base has previously been identified as a potential target for terrorists.
Last year a British Islamic extremist was convicted for planning a terror attack on US military personnel in the UK, having apparently scouted out RAF Mildenhall as a target.
The 1,162-acre base, which houses about 3,100 US military and an additional 3,000 family members, is used by the US to refuel US and Nato aircraft in Europe
RAF Mildenhall (pictured) in Suffolk and neighbouring RAF Lakenheath were re-opened after the second World War to host B-29 Superfortresses and have hosted US airmen ever since
A V-22 Osprey, similar to the one pictured in this file image, was seen in aerial footage surrounded by what appeared to be a cordon and flashing lights on a police vehicle
In 2015 delivery driver Junead Khan drove close to several bases operated by the US Air Force, including the Suffolk airfield, his trial was told.
RAF Mildenhall has been used by the American military since 1950. Several units are still based there permanently, including the 100th Air Refuelling Wing and a branch of its special operations command.
It has been earmarked for closure in 2022 after the Pentagon decided to scale down its military presence in Europe.
The Ministry of Defence plans to sell the site as part of a plan to generate £500 million from the release of military bases.
In July last year a serviceman was said to have been threatened with a knife while he was out jogging close to nearby RAF Marham in Norfolk.
Police said he was the victim of an attempted abduction but the serviceman, who was not in uniform, fought off his attackers and escaped unharmed.