Hunt for man behind Liverpool mosque bomb scare

Police at Al Rahma mosqueLeaders at a Liverpool mosque where a suspect package was found today said they feared the incident was aimed at stirring up hatred in the community. Two controlled explosions were carried out after the suspect package – feared to be a bomb – was left at a Liverpool mosque last night.

Police were called to Al Rahma mosque in Mulgrave Street, Toxteth at around 9pm. The force said this morning that no explosive materials were found at the scene but investigations were ongoing.

Mosque administrator Mohamed Mansur said a man had come into the mosque with a metal suitcase and said he wanted to become a Muslim. Mr Mansur said: “Then he said ‘Before that I need to go home’ and ran off leaving his locked metal suitcase inside the mosque.” People inside the mosque then phoned the police. The man who left the suitcase was described as a black Brazilian.

Today staff were scouring CCTV of the incident, which showed the man was in the mosque for 15 minutes.

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, wanting to arouse the community and add to the tension. It was just someone very ignorant and stupid wanting to stir up hatred in the community and within individuals.”

She said 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 March.

Liverpool Echo, 1 July 2013