Police identify Liverpool hospital attacker, calling the bombing a terrorist attack – National

Correction: An earlier version of the Reuters story quoted a BBC report that the taxi driver had locked the bomber inside the cab during the explosion, but this is unconfirmed.

British police have identified the suspect behind an explosion that engulfed a taxi in flames outside a hospital in Liverpool on Sunday, an explosion that authorities have declared a terrorist incident.

Police say 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen, who was killed in the blast, boarded the taxi in the northern English town and asked to be taken to hospital, which was about 10 minutes away.

The blast took place inside the car as it approached the drop-off point in front of Liverpool Women’s Hospital. The taxi driver was treated for injuries and released after medical attention.

The country has raised its national threat level to serious, and Interior Minister Priti Patel said the blast was the second fatal incident in a month after the stabbing of legislator David Amess.

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Four men arrested by police in connection with the explosion were released from custody, police said late Monday.

Three of them, aged 29, 26 and 21, were arrested on Sunday, and on Monday, Assistant Police Officer Russ Jackson of Counter-Terrorism Policing Northwest said another 20-year-old man had been arrested.

The blast took place just before 11am on Sunday when a Remembrance Day memorial service was held in nearby Liverpool Cathedral. Police are investigating whether the events are connected.

Police are searching two places linked to Al Swealmeen and have found significant items, said Detective Andrew Meeks in a statement released by Greater Manchester Police.

“Now that we’ve released his name, any information that the public has about Al Swealmeen, no matter how small, can be of great help to us,” he said.

Police conducted a controlled explosion earlier Monday as a security measure in Sefton Park.

Jackson said it was unclear why the passenger had wanted to take to the hospital, or what had caused the sudden explosion of the device.

Police also said they have found important evidence from an address on Rutland Avenue, adding that it is becoming central to the investigation. Al Swealmeen had been picked up by the taxi from the Rutland Avenue area, according to the BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59287001.

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Earlier, Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson described the taxi driver’s actions as heroic. The BBC said he had locked the passenger inside the vehicle.

“It is important that the public remains aware of the threat posed by terrorism, but not alerted,” Patel said.

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3 arrested after car explosion killed 1 outside Liverpool, UK hospital


Click to play video: 'Taxi bombing in Liverpool being treated as' terrorist incident ', British police say'







Taxi explosion in Liverpool is being treated as a ‘terrorist incident’, British police say


Taxi explosion in Liverpool is being treated as a ‘terrorist incident’, British police say

The blast engulfed the taxi in flames outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on Sunday, when a Remembrance Day service commemorating war dead was held in the nearby Liverpool Cathedral.

“We can not at present draw any connection with this, but it is a line of inquiry that we are pursuing,” Jackson said.

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Police also conducted a controlled explosion in a taxi outside the hospital on Monday, as “a precaution” and “as part of the ongoing investigation.” They said there is no major risk to the public.

Three men, aged 29, 26 and 21, were arrested Sunday, and Jackson said Monday that another 20-year-old man had been arrested. He added that “significant objects” had been found at one address, while several other addresses had been or would be searched.

He said the passenger had boarded the taxi somewhere in Liverpool and asked to be driven to the hospital, which was about a 10-minute drive away. The explosion took place inside the car as it approached the drop-off point in front of the hospital.


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Britain raises threat levels as Johnson urges people to be ‘fully vigilant’ after Liverpool attack


Britain raises threat levels as Johnson urges people to be ‘fully vigilant’ after Liverpool attack

The driver, locally named as David Perry, managed to escape from the car. He was treated at the hospital and released.

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Jackson said it was unclear why the passenger had wanted to take to the hospital, or what had caused the sudden explosion of the device.

Earlier, Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson described the taxi driver’s actions as heroic. The BBC said he had locked the passenger inside the vehicle.

“In her heroic efforts, the taxi driver has managed to redirect what could have been an absolutely horrific disaster at the hospital,” she told BBC radio.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the driver’s “incredible presence of mind and bravery”, although he did not elaborate on the circumstances. Johnson planned to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee on Monday to discuss the blast.

– with files from The Associated Press and Global News

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