Following an explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, the UK terror danger level has been raised to “severe.” When a homemade bomb exploded just before 11:00 GMT on Remembrance Sunday, taxi driver David Perry survived the blast, but his passenger was killed.
According to the BBC: the individual who is suspected of fabricating and bringing the device inside the taxi died on the spot.
The motive for the attack is unknown, according to police, but it has been classified as a terrorist act.
Police have also classified the killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who was stabbed numerous times during a meeting with constituents in Essex on October 15, as a terrorist attack.
- Four men were arrested in the city under the Terrorism Act
Russ Jackson, the North West’s Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, said the cab passenger appeared to have manufactured an “improvised explosive device” that triggered the blast.
He stated that authorities knew the attacker’s identity but would not reveal it at this time.
According to BBC security journalist, Gordon Corera, the man is not believed to have been known to MI5.
As part of the inquiry, four men were arrested in the city under the Terrorism Act.
The explosion was condemned as a “sickening attack” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who chaired an emergency Cobra meeting earlier in response to the blast.
“The British people will never be cowed by terrorism,” he said, adding that it was a “stark reminder for all of us to remain vigilant.”
Mr Perry, a Delta Taxi driver, picked up a passenger in Rutland Avenue, near Sefton Park, on Sunday, according to Mr Jackson.
“An explosion erupted from within the taxi as it reached the hospital drop-off point. It was rapidly engulfed in flames as a result of this”, he stated.
- “The taxi driver miraculously escaped from the cab”
Mr Perry’s wife Rachel wrote on Facebook that he was “fortunate to be alive.”
“The explosion occurred while he was in the car, and his escape is nothing short of a miracle,” she added.
- What we know so far about the Liverpool explosion.
- After the explosion, the taxi driver considers himself ‘fortunate to be alive’.
- The Liverpool Women’s Hospital is now accepting patients.
Mr Jackson stated that the taxi driver had been treated for his injuries and had been released from the hospital.
“There were Remembrance festivities just a short distance away from the hospital,” he stated, “and the ignition occurred immediately before 11:00 GMT,” he added.
“We can’t make any connections at this point,” he added, “but it’s a line of inquiry we’re following.”
While the authorities believe they know who the attacker is, forensic investigation to confirm the identity may take some time, especially if experts must rely on dental records and DNA.
The online habits and contacts of the deceased are being investigated by digital forensic investigators. Officers will use mobile phone data and money transactions to piece together a picture of his travels.
Experts will investigate the device’s construction.
These threads may lead detectives to crucial CCTV footage, as well as locations or witnesses that will aid in revealing the attacker’s plot.
But, if at all possible, the first objective will be to determine whether there is any continued threat to the public.
A 20-year-old man was arrested and held earlier in the city’s Kensington neighbourhood, according to police. Three other men, aged 21, 26, and 29, were apprehended in Kensington’s Sutcliffe Street on Sunday. Two of the men are considered to be “associates” of the taxi passenger, according to Mr Jackson.
Officers were checking into the man’s associates, phone records, and any purchases he may have made, he said.
Officers are looking into two residences, one on Sutcliffe Street and the other on Rutland Avenue, where “major clues” were discovered, according to police.
At both places, a perimetrer has been erected and eight families have been evacuated from their houses.
A controlled explosion was carried out as a precaution in the Sefton Park area, near Rutland Avenue, at around 16:00 GMT on Monday as part of the inquiry, but there was no broader risk to the public, according to police.
Three police trucks and a little black van had come up before covering an unknown item, according to Frances Evans, who observed the explosion.
“They weren’t there long, probably 20 minutes max,” she said. “I saw the explosion, the smoke and heard the bang.”
The cab passenger was related to both residences, according to Mr Jackson, although police were unsure which one he lived at.
- Attack is “extremely likely in the near future”
The explosion in Liverpool had a “very profound impact across the community,” according to the home secretary who expressed her condolences to the city’s residents.
Ms Patel stated that the government would “continue to collaborate with everyone when it comes to our country’s security and making sure that we’re taking all of the essential actions required.”
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), which is part of MI5, assesses danger levels and provides recommendations independent of the government.
A “severe” threat is defined as an attack on the United Kingdom that is “very likely” and is the second highest level of alert after “critical,” which indicates that an attack is “extremely likely in the near future.”
The increased threat level is not based on particular intelligence about a persistent threat in Liverpool. Rather, it is based on the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s overall judgment.
They looked into the fact that there have been two incidences in the previous month, one involving Sir David Amess MP and the other involving Liverpool- and judged that the overall picture has changed.
It is unclear what is causing this; some assume that it is because people are being motivated by foreign events, while others speculate that it is due to people coming out of lockdown after being radicalised online.
NHS workers at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, as well as members of the emergency services, were praised by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who said in the House of Commons that they had shown “utmost professionalism in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Kathryn Thomson, the chief executive of Liverpool Women’s Hospital, praised the “brave and devoted” staff and emergency service workers, but said the last two days had been “very upsetting and traumatising.”
She added that despite security and police on site, services were now running” as close to normal as can be expected.”