Explosion outside Liverpool hospital was suicide bomb attack, police say – Times of India

LONDON: A taxi explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday was a terrorist attack in which a male suicide bomber self-detonated, the UK police confirmed Monday.
The UK terror threat level was on Monday raised to severe, meaning a terror attack is highly likely.
Video footage shows the taxi exploding after pulling up in front of the hospital reception and the driver, named as David Perry (45), running out of the car whilst black plumes of smoke billowed out seconds before it went up in flames.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and put out the fire.
On Monday night the dead man was named by police as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen. UK media reported he was born to parents of Syrian and Iraqi heritage, spent a large amount of his life in Iraq and entered Britain as an asylum-seeker.
Perry was initially hospitalised for injuries and burns but has since been released. A local fundraiser has so far raised £20,000 (Rs 20 lakh) for him and Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson praised him for “diverting what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital”, which specialises in the health of women and babies.
Chief constable Russ Jackson, counter-terrorism North West, said the suicide bomber had “asked to be taken to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital”, after hailing the taxi from the Rutland area of Liverpool, which is 10 minutes away.
But UK media speculated his intended target may have been the Remembrance Sunday service at Liverpool Cathedral, 20 minutes walk from the hospital. At least 2,000 military personal, veterans and relatives of the fallen, together with civic dignitaries, had gathered in the cathedral on Sunday for its annual Remembrance Day Service. The taxi exploded outside the hospital at 10.59 am, just one minute before the annual two-minute silence to pay respect to the fallen.
“This is being treated as the ignition of an explosive device,” Jackson said. Enquiries “indicate that the device was brought into the cab by the passenger. Our enquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device has been manufactured and our assumption so far is that this was built by the passenger in the taxi. We believe we know the identity of the passenger,” he added.
“It is not clear what the motivation for this incident is. The reason why he took it to the women’s hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion. We are of course aware that there were remembrance events just a short distance away from the hospital and that the ignition occurred shortly before 11 am. It is a line of inquiry we are pursuing,” Jackson added.
Enquiries led officers to two addresses in Liverpool. The first was Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area where three men aged 21, 26 and 29 were arrested under the Terrorism Act on Sunday. A further man aged 20 was arrested in the Kensington area under the Terrorism Act on Monday.
The Sutcliffe Street address was searched overnight and a second address was searched at Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks said searches were still ongoing at both addresses.
“We believe he lived at the Sutcliffe Street address for some time and had recently rented the Rutland Avenue address. Our focus is the Rutland Avenue address where we have continued to recover significant items.”
This attack comes after MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death in his constituency surgery on October 15.

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