UK counter-terrorism police lead investigation into Dover bomb incident

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's counter-terrorism police are now leading the investigation into an incident in which petrol bombs were thrown at an immigration centre in the southern English port of Dover, police said on Tuesday.

"What appears clear is that this despicable offence was targeted and likely to be driven by some form of hate filled grievance, though this may not necessarily meet the threshold of terrorism," police said.

Police also identified the suspect who threw the bombs at the immigration centre on Sunday as Andrew Leak, a 66 year-old man from High Wycombe, southern England, who was later found dead at a nearby service station.

"There is currently nothing to suggest the man involved was working alongside anyone else, and there is not believed to be any wider threat to the community in the High Wycombe area or in Dover," the police statement said.

The Dover facility is the first stop for thousands of people making the dangerous journey across the English Channel before being sent to other accommodation while their claims to stay in Britain are reviewed.

The attack came as British policy towards migrants and asylum seekers remains a heated political issue.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told his cabinet on Tuesday that the nation is a compassionate and welcoming place for asylum seekers, but this is dependent on the country being able to effectively police its borders.

Sunak's interior minister Suella Braverman is facing heavy criticism for describing the arrival of asylum seekers as an invasion.

(Reporting by William Schomberg and Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Kate Holton and Michael Holden)