Liverpool Women’s Hospital taxi explosion: ‘homemade’ bomb used in terrorist incident

It has been reported that MI5, the UK’s domestic counterintelligence and security agency, was assisting the investigation.

“So far, we understand that the car involved was a taxi which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred,” a spokesman for Merseyside Police said.

“Work is still going on to establish what has happened and could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything.

“We are keeping an open mind as to what caused the explosion, but given how it has happened, out of caution, counterterrorism police are leading the investigation, supported by Merseyside Police.

“Our response is ongoing at the hospital and will be for some time. Cordons are in place and there are some road closures.”

Ms Anderson declined to speculate on reports suggesting the taxi had been bound for the city’s Remembrance Day service.

However, she said the driver had clearly demonstrated a “heroic” response.

“We knew that the taxi driver had stood out and locked the doors, we knew that early on,” she said.

“Obviously, the taxi driver in his heroic efforts has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital. Our thanks go to him.

“And our emergency services and authorities have worked through the night to divert anything further and we’ve all been on standby and in constant contact to provide any support that’s needed.”

Images of a vehicle on fire, and later burnt out, at the scene were earlier shared online. Footage of explosions and billowing smoke outside the hospital was also shared as a bomb disposal unit attended.

Nick Aldworth, former counterterrorism national co-ordinator, said pictures from the scene showed “very little blast damage” to the taxi, suggesting that an explosive device may have failed to detonate fully.

Mr Aldworth, who had a 36-year career in policing and the military, said officers would compare data on any suspects with details held by MI5, which holds different information to the police.

“I have to say, from what I’ve seen, there’s very little blast damage. There’s obviously a lot of fire damage but very little blast damage,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“And so, whatever was in that vehicle was either a low yield or didn’t work properly, or possibly an incendiary.”

He said the details surrounding the attack remained unclear and at this stage the background was “very much open to debate”.

Mr Aldworth said he had no doubt the attack was launched with “significant timing”.

Speaking before police declared it a terrorist incident, he said it was common for police to link an investigation to terror in the early stages to bolster their resources.

In this way, he said, investigating officers can simply scale back their probe if and when it becomes obvious the incident is not terror-related, a much easier process than scaling up once an investigation has been opened.

“It makes sense to create a terrorism investigation to start with because that then allows you to have a large operation with access to more resources you might not normally have, for example the intelligence services,” he said.

It has been reported that MI5, the UK’s domestic counterintelligence and security agency, was assisting the investigation.

“So far, we understand that the car involved was a taxi which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred,” a spokesman for Merseyside Police said.

“Work is still going on to establish what has happened and could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything.

“We are keeping an open mind as to what caused the explosion, but given how it has happened, out of caution, counterterrorism police are leading the investigation, supported by Merseyside Police.

“Our response is ongoing at the hospital and will be for some time. Cordons are in place and there are some road closures.”

Ms Anderson declined to speculate on reports suggesting the taxi had been bound for the city’s Remembrance Day service.

However, she said the driver had clearly demonstrated a “heroic” response.

“We knew that the taxi driver had stood out and locked the doors, we knew that early on,” she said.

“Obviously, the taxi driver in his heroic efforts has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital. Our thanks go to him.

“And our emergency services and authorities have worked through the night to divert anything further and we’ve all been on standby and in constant contact to provide any support that’s needed.”

Images of a vehicle on fire, and later burnt out, at the scene were earlier shared online. Footage of explosions and billowing smoke outside the hospital was also shared as a bomb disposal unit attended.

Nick Aldworth, former counterterrorism national co-ordinator, said pictures from the scene showed “very little blast damage” to the taxi, suggesting that an explosive device may have failed to detonate fully.

Mr Aldworth, who had a 36-year career in policing and the military, said officers would compare data on any suspects with details held by MI5, which holds different information to the police.

“I have to say, from what I’ve seen, there’s very little blast damage. There’s obviously a lot of fire damage but very little blast damage,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“And so, whatever was in that vehicle was either a low yield or didn’t work properly, or possibly an incendiary.”

He said the details surrounding the attack remained unclear and at this stage the background was “very much open to debate”.

Mr Aldworth said he had no doubt the attack was launched with “significant timing”.

Speaking before police declared it a terrorist incident, he said it was common for police to link an investigation to terror in the early stages to bolster their resources.

In this way, he said, investigating officers can simply scale back their probe if and when it becomes obvious the incident is not terror-related, a much easier process than scaling up once an investigation has been opened.

“It makes sense to create a terrorism investigation to start with because that then allows you to have a large operation with access to more resources you might not normally have, for example the intelligence services,” he said.

SOURCE:- thenationalnews.com

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