At approximately 1100 local time/UTC on 14 November 2021, an explosion occurred in a taxi outside the entrance of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital in central Liverpool, England. According to the chief of counterterrorism policing in northwestern England, the blast originated from an explosive device that the sole passenger carried into the taxi. The blast and subsequent fire killed the passenger and wounded the taxi driver. Following the blast, police officers arrested three men from Liverpool’s Kensington area in relation to the event. Another man was arrested in Kensington on 15 November. Authorities believe the four detainees are associates of the passenger who was killed in the explosion. Police officials have declared the blast a terrorist incident, although an investigation is underway to determine a motive for the explosion.
In a related development, on 15 November authorities in the U.K. raised the country’s terrorism threat level to “severe,” which indicates that an attack is highly likely. The “severe” level is the second-highest alert on a five-tier scale. The terrorism threat level in the country had remained at “substantial” after being downgraded from “severe” in February 2021. Additional details regarding threat levels in the U.K. can be viewed here.