After taxi explosion in Liverpool, UK raises terrorist threat level from “significant” to “serious”

The explosion of a taxi, Sunday November 14, in front of a hospital for women in Liverpool (in the north of England), was qualified “Terrorist act” by the counterterrorism police in charge of the investigation, Monday.

At a press conference, Russ Jackson, head of the region’s counterterrorism police, claimed that the homemade bomb that exploded in the taxi, setting it on fire, had been “Manufactured” and brought into the vehicle by the passenger there. Counterterrorism police think “Strongly” have identified the latter, investigators having established links between two addresses where searches were underway on Monday: they indeed believe that he lived in the first ” for a while “ and had recently leased Second Rutland Avenue.

At this last address, “Important elements have been found, and further research will be needed today and potentially in the coming days”, said the police, who say they are proceeding “As a precaution” to one “Controlled explosion”. Four men, aged 20 to 29, were arrested in connection with the investigation, including three in the Kensington district of Liverpool.

The United Kingdom then raised the level of the terrorist threat,« important » To « grave »Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on television on Monday, stressing that the events in Liverpool represent the second act considered terrorist after the murder of MP David Amess a month ago. This threat level means that the risk of attack is considered ” highly probable “.

The driver described as a “hero”

The explosion, which left one dead and one injured, came on Sunday morning as the UK commemorated the victims of wars on Remembrance Day. It occurred just before 11 a.m. (noon in Paris), as the nation prayed in silence and hundreds of soldiers, veterans and members of the public gathered a few hundred yards from Liverpool Cathedral for a tribute. .

According to The Daily Mail, the driver noticed that his passenger looked « suspect » and locked him in the taxi, before escaping. He was injured in the explosion and the passenger, who has not been formally identified, is dead, police said.

“The threat of terrorism has not disappeared”

The taxi driver was described as “Hero” by politicians and tabloids, who claimed it had averted deaths. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday during a visit to a London medical center:

“This is an ongoing investigation, so I cannot comment on the details or qualify the act with exactitude (…), but it seems that the taxi driver in question behaved with presence of mind and incredible bravery. “

Later in the day, the prime minister warned that “The British people will not let themselves[ait] never intimidate by terrorism ”. Calling for vigilance, Mr Johnson added: “We will never give in to those who want to divide us by foolish acts. “

“The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, managed to avoid what could have been an absolutely horrific disaster at the hospital”, Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson explained, monday on bbc, confirming that he had “Locked the doors” of the vehicle.

For Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden, ” that [nous] recalls that the threat of terrorism has not disappeared ”. Referring to the actions of the taxi driver reported by the press, Mr. Dowden underlined, on SkyNews, “The contrast between the cowardice of the terrorist attack and the bravery of ordinary Britons across the country, who put the lives of others before theirs”.

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After taxi explosion in Liverpool, UK raises terrorist threat level from “significant” to “serious”