SAS troops helped raid lairs linked with the Poppy Day bomber as the elite unit joined the hunt for any prospective accomplices of the terrorist.
Pictures show a heavily armed operator from the SAS’s counter-terror squad in tactical gear and armed with a powerful automatic rifle as the regiment stormed properties in Liverpool after the suicide bomb attack.
MailOnline understands the special forces operatives utilised new drone technology that is equipped with in-built electronic security to neutralise any remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED).
Military insiders suggested the elite team were called upon to lead the raids in Liverpool because their ‘specialised training’ made them perfect for the high-pressure situation of hunting down potential active terror threats.
It comes as police revealed Liverpool bomber Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, started building a ‘bomb factory’ at a rented bedsit as early as April.
Armed units raided a property in the Sefton Park area of Liverpool shortly after Al Swealmeen accidentally blew himself up at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday.
The next day, bomb disposal officers carried out a controlled explosion in the park, and Rutland Avenue, where the explosives factory was located, remains closed off.
Yesterday afternoon officers also extended a cordon around Sutcliffe Street in Kensington, central Liverpool, where Al Swealmeen is thought to have lived.
Pictures show a heavily armed operator from the SAS’s counter-terror squad in tactical gear and armed with a powerful automatic rifle as the regiment stormed properties in Liverpool after the suicide bomb attack
Military insiders suggested the elite team were called upon to lead the raids in Liverpool because their ‘specialised training’ made them perfect for the high-pressure situation of hunting down potential active terror threats
The SAS were summoned to head-up the anti-terror raids in the historic waterfront city amid fears there were other jihadist-sympathisers operating with Al-Swealmeen, the Mirror reports.
MailOnline understands the anti-terror squad’s searches focused on drains, toilet systems and other external outlets to find traces of IEDs or other bomb-making equipment.
Part of the elite unit’s training, honed in Afghanistan, sees them work to eliminate potential threats before they have a chance to detonate their explosive devices.
Techniques utilised for combat in the Middle Eastern theatre include using ladders to scale walls rather than using potentially boobytrapped main entrances or doors.
‘The decision to send in the SAS was made very quickly because of their high level of training. The police counter-terror teams are extremely good but special forces are so highly trained that when the doors go in they don’t flinch,’ one military source told the Mirror.
SAS troops helped raid properties linked with the Poppy Day bomber as the elite unit joined the hunt for any prospective accomplices of the terrorist
‘They are able to make split-second decisions with no hesitation and this saves lives in what may have turned into a high-intensity, very risky situation.’
Yesterday it emerged that Al Swealmeen had spent months trawling the internet to buy chemicals and metal components in small quantities to avoid detection.
The failed asylum seeker, who arrived in Britain from Iraq, is said to have had online shopping packages constantly arriving at his rented flat in Liverpool.
Emad Al-Swealmeen, 32, pictured, loaded a homemade explosive device with nails and bolts but it failed to fully detonate when it went off in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on Sunday
Officers have recovered traces of chemicals from the bomb factory indicating that he experimented with various explosives.
One of the recipes he is understood to have followed was for hexamethylene triperoxide diamine – the same material used by the July 7 2005 London bombers.
Counter-terrorism police confirmed they believe the 32-year-old’s Remembrance Day weapon would have caused ‘significant injury or death’ if it had gone off outside.
But the fact it detonated inside innocent David Perry’s taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, meant only the bomber was killed.
His homemade bomb blew up as he approached the hospital after he was ‘jolted’. Experts have suggested it could have been a poorly made Mother of Satan device or even one put together with fireworks
Police also disclosed on Friday that devious Al Swealmeen purchased components from his bomb individually and by using a number of fake names to avoid flagging systems.
After the explosion, officers from the bomb squad were on the scene and a counter-terror police spokesman said several suspicious packages had been found after police raids.
Residents were ordered to stay indoors and others forbidden from returning to their homes. They were instead directed to a nearby primary school for shelter.
Forensic tests are still being carried out on the taxi which exploded with Al Swealmeen inside. It was confirmed last night that he died of injuries sustained in the blast and from the subsequent fire.