BoJo Raises UK Terror Threat Level To ‘Severe’, Warns Another Attack “Highly Likely”
Update (0920ET): Britain’s terror threat level has been raised to severe following the Liverpool car bomb plot meaning another attack is seen as “highly likely”.
The announcement comes after Boris Johnson chaired an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the Government’s response to the shocking incident.
* * *
UK police are investigating an attempted terrorist attack after a blast went off in a taxi outside a hospital in Liverpool. It doesn’t appear, however, that the vehicle reached its intended target due to the heroic actions of the taxi driver.
The bomber died in the blast, with the taxi driver escaping the car alive – after the driver had stopped the car in the middle of the road and reportedly locked the doors to prevent the bomber’s escape with the device. The harrowing ordeal began – as BBC recounts – like any usual pick-up, but at some point the driver David Perry was alerted by the bomber’s device:
Mr Perry is said by police to have picked up a man in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool shortly before 11:00 GMT on Sunday. The man asked to be taken to the Women’s Hospital, a journey of around 10 minutes.
As the taxi arrived at the hospital’s drop-off area, the car exploded. Mr Perry is believed to have escaped the car as it did so.
Liverpool’s mayor Joanne Anderson described that it was Perry’s split-second decision of “locking the doors” that prevented the bomber from directly targeting the hospital. There also may have been another intended target, as the details of the bomber’s intended target are not fully known.
Perry sustained minor injuries and has since been released from the hospital. “The taxi driver in his heroic efforts has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster,” Mayor Anderson said. “We knew the taxi driver had stood out; the taxi driver locked the doors. Our thanks go to him.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also in later statements praised the taxi driver for thwarting a bigger attack. “It does look as though the taxi driver in question did behave with incredible presence of mind and bravery,” Johnson said. Police have since arrested for additional men, all in their 20s, and say they know the identity of the deceased bomber.
Utterly incredible video from the Liverpool Women’s Hospital bombing.
Shows, as reported by @evansma last night, that taxi was still moving at time of explosion.
Latest here – https://t.co/SxPrcxKPLS
— Gareth Davies (@GD10) November 15, 2021
“Our enquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device has been manufactured and our assumption so far is that this was built by the passenger in the taxi,” Liverpool’s Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson of Counter Terrorism North West told a press conference Monday.
“We are able to confirm that this is being treated as the ignition of an explosive device. Our enquiries also indicate that the device was brought into the cab by the passenger,” he added. The precise motives for the terror attack are as yet unclear.
If the man in this video is the taxi driver who locked the suicide bomber in his taxi outside the Liverpool women’s hospital, it looks like he wasn’t too badly injured. A true hero. pic.twitter.com/93gPjr2ODz
— Gary (@GaryOfLancs) November 14, 2021
Meanwhile an online fundraiser has emerged and quickly raised at least £15,000 to help the taxi driver, who lost his cab in the attack. The fundraiser organizer described it as “simply to help a family and a good guy who didn’t deserve this, and has a lot of recovery to do but deserves a medal for his actions”.
Mon, 11/15/2021 – 09:20