U.K. Raises Terror Threat Level to Severe After Liverpool Attack
The U.K. raised its terrorist threat level from substantial to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson convened a meeting of the country’s emergency committee Cobra to discuss a blast in Liverpool, northern England.
“I can’t comment on details of the case or the motivation, but it is a stark reminder of the need to remain utterly vigilant,” Johnson said at a Downing Street news conference on Monday.
Police have classified the explosion on Sunday as a terrorist incident, the second in a month. It occurred just one minute before annual remembrance services for those who died serving Britain in war.
In October, Conservative MP David Amess was fatally stabbed at a meeting in his constituency, with police saying at the time the suspect might have had links to Islamist extremism.
Merseyside Police were called to reports of an explosion involving a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital at 10:59 a.m. on Sunday. The passenger died and the driver was injured. Four men were later arrested in the city.
Footage circulated online shows the taxi pulling up to the hospital’s parking lot. As the bomb explodes, the driver gets out.
“The investigation is moving at pace,” Security Minister Damian Hinds said on Sky News on Tuesday. “It could be weeks before the full picture is known.”
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, from Counter-Terrorism Policing North West, told reporters on Monday that the passenger was carrying a homemade bomb.
“Although the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances it has been declared a terrorist incident,” he said. “Counter-terrorism policing are continuing with the investigation.”
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