A man has been arrested and cautioned after an apparent “bomb scare hoax” at a mosque in Liverpool.
After much speculation about the suspect who was initially described as a “white Danish man”, then a “black Brazilian”, it has now been confirmed that he was a Somalian.
The man was arrested after a suitcase was left at Al Rahma Mosque on Mulgrave Street, Toxteth, on Sunday evening before the Maghrib prayers when around 150-200 worshipers were in the building.
Merseyside Police confirmed that a 22 year-old Somali man had been cautioned and released following the incident.
Two controlled explosions were carried out by the Army bomb disposal team. Officers from the Royal Logistics Corps used their remote-controlled robot to blow up the suspect package thought to be a bomb.
Officers studied CCTV footage which showed the man turning up at the mosque saying he wanted to become a Muslim.
The police were called after worshipers became suspicious when the perpetrator ran off, leaving a heavy metal suitcase on the premises which was locked.
Merseyside Police confirmed that no explosive materials were found at the scene or inside the package.
Liverpool’s biggest mosque, Al Rahma, accommodates the city’s 25,000-strong Muslim community. Mosque leaders said they feared the bomb scare hoax was aimed at “stirring up hatred” in the community.
They also said the mosque had received numerous malicious phone calls in the aftermath of the death of British soldier, 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.”
General secretary of the Liverpool Muslim Society located in the Al Rahma Mosque, Rahma Sani, 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.
Officers urged anyone with information to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 5394.