The coronavirus pandemic may have “exacerbated” the number of people self-radicalising online, the UK security minister, Damian Hinds, said in the wake of the Liverpool bombing.
Hinds said the security services had disrupted more than 30 late-stage plots in the last few years.
Liverpool bomber Emad al-Swealmeen was born in Iraq and officers believe he had been buying parts for his homemade device since at least April, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West has said.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said a “complex picture is emerging over the purchases of the component parts of the device”, adding that al-Swealmeen rented the property from April this year and “we believe relevant purchases have been made at least since that time”.
Jonathan Hall QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, said it was unlikely that extremists plotting to kill multiple victims would be swayed by the prospect of a new 14-year minimum term.
The Liverpool bomber was a failed asylum seeker who tried to “game the system” by converting to Christianity, Home Office sources claimed yesterday.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, said that Emad Al Swealmeen exploited the “merry-go-round” of Britain’s “broken” asylum system by making repeated claims to stay in the country.
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