the essential This Sunday, a taxi exploded in Liverpool in front of a women’s hospital, leaving one dead and one injured. Three men were arrested as early as Sunday in Liverpool’s Kensington area under the Terrorism Act, and at a press conference on Monday, police announced the arrest of a fourth man aged 20 years.
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The increased threat level means that the authorities consider a terrorist attack “highly probable”, according to the official classification. Investigators believe the Liverpool explosive device was “made” by a taxi passenger who was killed in the explosion on Sunday morning outside a women’s hospital in the city of northern England. Counterterrorism police believe “strongly” have identified him as Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, investigators linked to two addresses where searches were underway on Monday . Police believe he had been living at first “for a while” and had recently rented second at Rutland Avenue.
“Controlled explosion” and searches
It is at this last address that “important elements were found and additional research will be necessary today and potentially in the coming days”, underlined the police, who also said to have carried out “as a precaution” to a “controlled explosion”. The passenger had taken the taxi in this avenue, asking the driver to take him to the women’s hospital, located ten minutes away by car.
Four men – aged 20 to 29 years – were arrested in connection with this investigation , according to the police, who evoked Monday a “terrorist act” while specifying that his motive “remained to be determined”. Interior Minister Priti Patel pointed out that this was the second attack in a month, after the 15 October murder of MP David Amess during a parliamentary call about sixty kilometers from London. Its alleged perpetrator has been charged with murder and preparation for terrorist acts.
The explosion occurred on Sunday morning, in moment when the United Kingdom commemorated the victims of wars, on the occasion of “Remembrance Sunday”.
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It happened just before hours, when the nation was praying in silence, and a few hundred meters from Liverpool Cathedral where hundreds of soldiers, veterans and members of the public were gathered. “We cannot establish a link at the moment but it is an avenue of inquiry that we are exploring,” Russ Jackson, in charge of the region’s counterterrorism police, said during a press conference on Monday. of these commemorations.
Wounded in the explosion, the taxi driver has been called a “hero” by politicians and tabloids who said he had saved the lives of people. “It appears that the taxi driver in question behaved with incredible presence of mind and bravery,” said Boris Johnson.
According to The Daily Mail, the driver found his passenger to look “suspicious” and locked him in the taxi, before escaping.
“The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, managed to avoid what could have been an absolutely horrific disaster at the hospital,” said Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson, on the BBC, confirming that he had “locked the doors” of the vehicle.
He has since left the hospital where he was being treated, police said. The counterterrorism police are in charge of the investigation with the support of the intelligence service MI5. Images showed large gray smoke rising from the scene of the explosion and a charred vehicle. Phil Garrigan, the Merseyside fire chief, said the vehicle fire had “fully grown” when emergency vehicles arrived. The police urged the population to “remain calm but vigilant”.