LONDON: British police have released four men arrested under terrorism laws by detectives investigating a homemade bomb explosion in a Liverpool taxi, as they work to understand the motives of the suspected bomber, who died in the blast.
Police have named the bomber as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen, who came to Britain as an asylum-seeker several years ago and had converted to Christianity in 2017.
Al Swealmeen was killed and a taxi driver injured when a blast ripped through the vehicle as it pulled up outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Sunday morning.
Police have called the blast a terrorist act, but say they are still working to determine the motive.
Four men in their 20s who had been detained under the Terrorism Act were released late Thursday.
Russ Jackson, the head of counterterrorism policing for northwest England, said that "following interviews with the arrested men, we are satisfied with the accounts they have provided and they have been released from police custody".
Jackson said that police now had “a much greater understanding of the component parts of the device, how they were obtained and how the parts are likely to have been assembled”. But he said “there is a considerable way to go to understand how this incident was planned, prepared for and how it happened”.
Britain’s official threat level was raised from substantial to severe – meaning an attack is highly likely – following the blast, the UK’s second fatal incident in a month. Conservative lawmaker David Amess was stabbed to death in October in what police said was an act of terrorism.