The UK terror threat level has been increased to “severe” due to a thwarted attack described as a terrorist attack near Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Around 11: GMT, a homemade bomb went off near the hospital, causing significant damage and loss of life.
A narration of events by the police revealed that the bomb was brought into a taxi by a passenger who had planned to detonate it in that area. Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West, Russ Jackson, gave a rundown of events on David Perry, the taxi driver who was unfortunate to ferry a terrorist in his cab on Sunday. Perry picked up his passenger in Rutland Avenue, near Sefton Park as noted by Jackson. He said, “As the taxi approached the drop-off point at the hospital, an explosion occurred from within the car. This quickly engulfed it in flames”. He added that “Remarkably the taxi driver escaped from the cab”, and he was released from hospital after getting treatment for his injuries.
The police are yet to understand the motivation behind this attack, and their job is going to be difficult since the perpetrator lost his life during the explosion. Lucky enough, the taxi driver survived and was able to provide more information about his passenger. According to the authorities, this was a terrorist incident against innocent people. Mr Perry’s wife could not hide her happiness and posted on Facebook that “lucky to be alive” in relation to Perry’s survival. She also said, “The explosion happened whilst he was in the car and how he managed to escape is an utter miracle”.
Jackson gave more details about the terrorist who is believed to have made an “improvised explosive device”, which then caused a blast. Gordon Corera, a BBC security correspondent, noted how M15 was dark about this particular individual. But Jackson said police had full information about this man and could not release it at the moment. An investigation is currently underway, and four men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act. The four are suspected to be associates of the taxi passenger, and they are all young men as their ages are 20, 21, 26 and 29 [Source]. So far, “significant items” were found at two addresses searched by police; the other is Sutcliffe Street and another at Rutland Avenue. Evidence was also searched for among the man’s associates, telephone records and purchases he made.
According to Jackson, the police were “aware there were Remembrance events just a short distance away from the hospital and that the ignition occurred shortly before 11:00 GMT”. He posited that “We cannot at this time draw any connection with this, but it is a line of inquiry we are pursuing”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel commented on this incident and said the threat level was raised from “substantial” to “severe”. This entails an imminent attack, especially considering that this explosion is the second incident in a month. Another terrorism act that took place earlier was the murder of Sir Davis Amess [Source]. The deceased Conservative MP was stabbed multiple times while attending a meeting with constituents in Essex on 15 October.
A Cobra meeting was held in response to the Liverpool explosion, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired it. He described the incident as a “sickening attack” and added that it was a “stark reminder for all of us to remain vigilant. The PM took a stand by saying, “the British people will never be cowed by terrorism”.
Ms Patel suggested that her government would ‘continue to work with everyone when it comes to the security of our country and making sure that we’re taking all the necessary steps required”.