Man cautioned following bomb security alert at Liverpool mosque
Abandoned suitcase sparked security alert and controlled explosions on Sunday night
A Danish man who was arrested by police after a suitcase was left at Liverpool’s main mosque has been cautioned and released.
Two controlled explosions were carried out after the suspect package – feared to be a bomb – was left there on Sunday evening.
Police held a meeting with faith leaders yesterday to update them on the investigation, and announced this morning a 22-year-old who had been arrested was spoken to about his behaviour before being cautioned.
Officers had taken away CCTV footage which showed the moment a man turned up at Al Rahma mosque, in Mulgrave Street, Toxteth, saying he wanted to become a Muslim.
Suspicions were aroused when, after spending about 15 minutes inside the building, he abruptly ran off, leaving a metal suitcase on the premises.
One quick-thinking worshipper dragged the suitcase out while the police were called.
Army bomb disposal experts then arrived to carry out a controlled explosion.
Police confirmed that no explosive materials were found at the scene.
The Al Rahma mosque serves as the main place of worship and focus point for Liverpool’s 25,000-strong Muslim community.
Some mosque leaders said they feared the incident was aimed at stirring up hatred in the community.
They also revealed the mosque had received a string of malicious phone calls in the aftermath of the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed in Woolwich in May.
Mosque administrator Mohamed Mansur said: “While no direct threats were made, the calls were insulting to the Muslim community.”
He said he was not aware of similar occurrences at any of the smaller mosques in the city, adding: “When someone wants to target something, they target the big ones.”
General secretary of the Liverpool Muslim Society based in the mosque, Rahma Sani, said she believed it was some kind of prank or hoax.
She said: “I think it was someone just being stupid and ignorant wanting to arouse the community and add to the tension.”
Police said the investigation to establish the full circumstances of the incident was still ongoing.
Detective Inspector Lisa Mahon said: “I would like to reassure the local community that there is no evidence that this item was left at this location to cause alarm or distress.”
Officers urged anyone with information to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 5394.
A man in his 20s from Denmark was arrested in Liverpool city centre and being held in police custody last night, on suspicion of causing a public nuisance contrary to common law.