An update from UK Protect – Counter Terrrorism Policing

While the investigation continues at pace and some details are still unclear, this has now been declared a terrorist incident by the Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon. The investigation is now being led by Counter Terrorism Policing North West, with support from Merseyside Police.

The investigation into the explosion at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, led by Counter Terrorism Policing is continuing at pace.

The circumstances, as we so far understand them to be, are that shortly before 11am a local taxi driver picked up a fare in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool.

The fare, a man, had asked to be taken to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital which was about 10 minutes away. As the taxi approached the drop off point at the hospital, an explosion occurred from within car, which quickly engulfed it in flames.

Remarkably, the taxi driver, escaped from the cab. He has been treated for the injuries he sustained and has now been released from hospital.

Emergency services quickly attended the scene and Merseyside Fire and Rescue put out the fire following which it quickly became apparent that the passenger remained in the vehicle and was deceased.

Army Ordinance Disposal officers have examined the scene at the Hospital and made the area safe.

Following discussions with Ordinance Disposal Officers, 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.

We believe we know the identity of the passenger but cannot confirm this at this time.

Our enquiries have led us to two addresses. The first was Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool and at this location three men aged 21, 26 and 29 have been arrested under S41 of the Terrorism Act.

They will be interviewed by Counter Terrorism officers later today.

The Sutcliffe Street address was searched overnight and further searches will take place today.

A second address has been searched at Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park.

At this location significant items have been found and further searches will be necessary today and potentially into the coming days.

A cordon is in place at this location and 8 families have been evacuated at this time.

The scene at the Hospital remains in place with specialist examinations ongoing.

It is not clear what the motivation for this incident is.

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.
The reason why he then took it to the Women’s Hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion.

We are of course aware that there were remembrance events just a short distance away from the Hospital and that the ignition occurred shortly before 11am.
We cannot at this time draw any connection between this but it is a line of inquiry.

Although, the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and Counter Terrorism Policing are continuing with the investigation.

Our enquiries will now continue to seek to understand how the device was built, the motivation for the incident and to understand if anyone else was involved in it.

There will be several meetings today and we will continue to update you as we have more information. A Bridge Call has been scheduled for 18:00.

Supporting Guidance

The most effective means of preventing a threat getting to their intended target can be to have effective search and screening processes in place. The guidance from the CPNI for Security is available here:

The investigation has not yet confirmed the cause of the explosion within the car in this Incident. CPNI and NaCTSO produce a guide for the most likely terrorist threats, which is suitable for sharing with all security staff.

Businesses can also sign up for the ACT awareness eLearning. The eLearning provides nationally recognised corporate CT guidance to help increase understanding around terrorism, how to mitigate against terrorism, along with methodology.
To register please visit:

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