A serviceman who was targeted in a suspected attempted abduction near RAF Marham yesterday is said to have been left “very shaken” by his ordeal.
Police have confirmed they have liaised with anti-terrorist officers in connection with the incident.
Norfolk Police assistant chief constable Nick Dean told a news conference a short time ago: “We are unable at this time to discount terrorism.
“But I stress that other lines of inquiry are equally as plausible and are being investigated.
“We are doing everything possible to investigate this incident.”
The briefing was told that an attempted robbery or a non- terrorist related abduction could be among the other possible motives.
He added that the wider security threat remains unchanged.
More details have been released about the incident, which happened at Squires Hill, between 2.55 and 3.26pm on Wednesday.
Police say the serviceman, who is in his late 20s and married, had been running on a path that is well known to people at the base when he was approached by two men, who are believed to be of Middle Eastern origin.
One of them shouted at him and attempted to grab him. As the serviceman resisted him in what was described as a “melee”, he fell to the ground. The second man, who was carrying what has been described as a military style knife, then approached the serviceman, before going to his accomplice.
The pair fled in a dark people carrier which, along with the knife, has yet to be traced.
Detective Superintendant Paul Durham, who is leading the inquiry, said of the victim: “He is, naturally, very, very shaken by his ordeal. He is receiving a significant amount of support from the RAF and through my own officers.”
Det Supt Durham said it was not known what the attacker had shouted, as the victim had been listening to music at the time.
However., he said officers were confident it had been an attempt to pull him into the vehicle.
He added that it was “hugely important” that the men, the vehicle and knife are recovered.
He revealed there had been a number of sightings of a vehicle which may have been the one used in the incident within West Norfolk and said they had not ruled out the possibility that the assailants are still in the area.
Security has been increased around the base and police are carrying out searches and house to house inquiries in the area.
Officers have been supporting the base’s annual families day, which is taking place as scheduled today.
And detectives revealed they had not been made aware of any specific threats to the base or personnel prior to the incident.
Our video shows ACC Dean and Chf Supt Durham answering questions during the news conference, held at Norfolk Police headquarters in Wymondham.
The USAF, with bases at Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Feltwell, has refused to say whether it has warned its service people to step up security after the attack.
A spokeswoman at RAF Mildenhall said: “In an effort to protect operational security, we do not discuss specific changes to our force protection conditions.
“However, we are constantly assessing the threat environment and adjusting our posture as required. We have a close relationship with the local authorities and we work closely to ensure a safe and secure environment.”