A Brazilian, a Dane and a Somali walk into a mosque

City of Liverpool carries out controlled explosion of suspicious package, but unable to control trigger-happy media

The Danes get confused with the Dutch a lot, but not normally Somalis. But then again, the inhabitants of Hartlepool did once hang a monkey they thought was a French spy, so stranger things have happened in northern England before.

It all started in the north-western English city of Liverpool on Sunday night when a suspicious metal suitcase was left in a Toxeth mosque and then destroyed by police in a controlled explosion. The detonation confirmed there were no explosives in the suitcase.

Local media went into overdrive to describe the “terrorist” who had entered the place of worship to enquire about becoming a Muslim before abruptly leaving. His description ranged from being “a tall white man” to a “black Brazilian” before settling on a “man in his 20s from Denmark”.

It was a description concurred by the BBC. “A Danish man is cautioned after bomb disposal experts carried out controlled explosions on a suitcase found inside a mosque in Liverpool,” read its report. It would appear the police had their man.

But then it transpired that the suspect is actually from neither South America nor Europe, but Africa: Somalia to be precise.

Given the changeable nature of the suspect’s nationality, it remains unclear whether it might change again. He is from “the Somali/Danish/Brazilian Axis of Evil”, an online commenter on www.liberalconspiracy.org observed.