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U.S. probe into Heathrow arrest

Armed police at Heathrow
Armed police patrol London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport.

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- U.S. officials are investigating how a Sudanese airline passenger may have carried suspected ammunition onto a flight from Washington to London.

The man was arrested at Britain's Heathrow Airport Wednesday after the suspected ammunition was discovered as he tried to board a flight to Dubai.

Metropolitan Police stopped the man during a routine security check at Heathrow. Scotland Yard said he was not carrying any weapons.

In Washington, a U.S. government official said the man had a few bullets in his pocket.

The official said it was unclear if the bullets were live ammunition and whether the passenger got them upon arrival in London or before his departure for London from Washington's Dulles Airport.

The passenger did not appear to be on any terrorism watch lists and was not being deported, the official said.

Still, the official admitted, "it is always of concern if he did get a piece of metal through the metal detectors."

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a statement saying it was "working with its international airline and law enforcement partners" to investigate the incident.

Virgin Atlantic Airlines confirmed the man flew to Heathrow on board its flight VS022 from Dulles International Airport near Washington.

In a written statement, Virgin Atlantic said the seized items did not pose a threat to the aircraft and noted that it's the TSA's job to screen passengers at Dulles.

Scotland Yard said the 45-year-old man was being held under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Section 41 refers to the alleged involvement in the commission, preparation, or instigation of acts of terrorism.

The man was initially arrested under the Firearms Act, Metropolitan Police said. He was taken to a central London police station to be interviewed by anti-terrorist officers.

British officials said forensic experts are examining the suspected ammunition.


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