On Monday, a driver attempted to charge his car through a gate at a U.S. Air Force garrisoned-base in Britain. He was detained and arrested with mild injuries.
At present, it's not clear what motivated the suspect, but there are indications this could have been an attempted terrorist attack. We don't know much yet, but the little we do allows us to make some inferences that could be significant.
First off, the local police force quickly labeled the attack a "significant incident." This is British security-speak for a terrorist attack or other mass casualty event. Seeing as no one apart from the suspect was injured, the terrorist attack explanation seems the most likely.
Second, according to the local police, USAF security personnel at Mildenhall fired their weapons to stop the attacker. Here's a crucial detail others haven't caught onto yet: the unit responsible for Mildenhall's security is the 100th Security Forces Squadron, which was recognized as the best U.S. Air Force security unit in Europe or Africa in 2015. Given that, it's safe to assume that the airmen's use of such decisive force was proportionate to the threat they saw.
In turn, that the airmen decided to fire on the suspect rather than detain him without lethal force suggests he moved against the checkpoint at high speed or showed a deliberate desire to cause harm.
Fortunately, the decision of authorities to quickly release the base from lockdown suggests that they believe the suspect was working alone.
The base, RAF Mildenhall, is two hours north of London and provides a staging post for USAF airlift and air-to-air refueling squadrons.
If anything interesting comes out in the hours ahead, I'll write another post. Until then, watch for British liberals take to Twitter to complain about USAF personnel firing their weapons.