Liverpool hospital bomb news: Terror suspect Emad Al Swealmeen was 'unknown to MI5' & had asylum claims rejected

THE man who detonated a car bomb outside Liverpool Women's Hospital made the device from ball bearings after his asylum claims were rejected.

Emad Jamil Al-Swealmeen, 32, blew himself to bits after the taxi exploded in a fireball just seconds after pulling up outside of Liverpool Women's Hospital on Sunday morning.

Addressing the nation today as developments about the attack unfolded, Boris Johnson told a Downing Street news conference: "What yesterday showed above all is that the British people will never be cowed by terrorism, we will never give in to those who seek to divide us with senseless acts of violence. And our freedoms and our way of life will always prevail."

It comes as Britain's terror threat level has been raised to severe following the Liverpool car bomb plot – meaning another attack is seen as "highly likely".

Read our Liverpool explosion live blog for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Women's Hospital boss says last two days 'upsetting and traumatising'

    Kathryn Thomson, chief executive of Liverpool Women's Hospital, said in a statement that the last two days had been "extremely upsetting and traumatising" for people associated with the hospital.

    She added that despite security and police on site, services are now running "as close to normal as can be expected".

    Anyone who has any information should call police on 0161 856 1027 quoting Liverpool Women's Hospital incident.

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    threat level raised to SEVERE

    BRITAIN’S terror threat level has been raised to severe following the Liverpool car bomb plot meaning another attack is seen as “highly likely”.

    The announcement comes after Boris Johnson chaired an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss the Government’s response to the shocking incident.

    This morning the PM paid tribute to the hero cab driver whose quick thinking in yesterday’s terror attack saved lives.

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    Neighbour recalls 'frightening' moment police evacuated her from house

    Another neighbour, Sharon Cullen, said she thought four men aged about in their 20s lived at the address.

    She said: "I don't know any of them but one of them always seemed to be on a PC in his bedroom."

    Mrs Cullen said she and her husband, 22-year-old daughter and two-year-old grandson were evacuated from their home at about 9.45pm on Sunday.

    She said: "The police pounded on my door and an officer said 'we need to get you out of the house as soon as possible'.

    "They said 'whatever is going on at the back of the house, it could blow the block'.

    "It was really frightening."

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    Sutcliffe Street resident tells of moment police swooped in

    Matthew Heitman, 26, who lives opposite the raided house in Sutcliffe Street, said: "Two of the men were marched out at gunpoint and they had them up against the wall.

    "There wasn't any kind of struggle, they just walked out of the front.

    "The people living there had not long moved in, maybe weeks or months."

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    Christian volunteer couple who took in suspect 'very' shocked by incident

    According to reports, Al Swealmeen converted to Christianity after moving to the UK from the Middle East and was later briefly taken in by Christian volunteers Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchcott in Liverpool.

    Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Hitchcott said: "We're just so, so sad. We just loved him, he was a lovely guy."

    Questioned if the couple were shocked by the incident, she added: "Very."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Mapped: Hospital car blast in Liverpool

    Emad Jamil Al-Swealmeen, 32, blew himself up after the taxi exploded in a fireball just seconds after pulling up outside of Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Sunday morning.

    Three of the suspects were arrested yesterday at Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool, while today's arrest was made in the same area.

    The officer confirmed two addresses in the city have been searched as a result of the investigation.

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    Act of terror

    "Emergency services quickly attended the scene and Merseyside Fire and Rescue put out the fire following which it quickly became apparent that the passenger remained in the vehicle and was deceased.

    "It is not clear what the motivation for this incident is.

    "Our enquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device has been manufactured and our assumption so far is that this was built by the passenger in the taxi.

    "The reason why he then took it to the Women's Hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Hospital terrorist exploded ball bearing bomb after asylum claims turned down

    THE LIVERPOOL hospital terrorist built a bomb packed with ball bearings after his asylum claims were repeatedly turned down, it's been revealed.

    Emad Jamil Al-Swealmeen, 32, blew himself to bits after the taxi exploded in a fireball just seconds after pulling up outside of Liverpool Women's Hospital on Sunday morning.

    CCTV footage captured the moment the device was detonated seconds after cabbie David Perry pulled up in front of the main entrance at 10.59am.

    Because of Al-Swealmeen’s severe injuries, it took police several hours to establish a potential identity – and he has yet to be formally identified.

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    Police Scotland reassure's nation amid heightened terror threat level

    A senior police officers has said there is "nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland" as the UK Government heightens the terror threat level.

    The threat level was increased to severe on Monday, which means an attack is highly likely, after a man blew himself up outside a Liverpool hospital on Remembrance Sunday.

    Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams moved to reassure people in the country that there was "nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland".

    He said the decision by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, was made following two recent incidents declared as terrorism, the killing of Sir David Amess and the incident in Liverpool on Sunday.

    "While the terrorist threat in the UK is diverse, volatile and complex, I would stress at this time there is nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland," he said.

    "I do want to take this opportunity to remind the public not to be alarmed, but to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to Police Scotland."

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    'Christian convert'

    Almeni is said to have been an asylum seeker who converted to Christianity and was once arrested for carrying a knife.

    It's understood he arrived in the UK several years ago, and has mostly lived in Liverpool.

    He was being supported by Christian volunteers from a network of churches who help asylum seekers, according to reports.

    And after being arrested for carrying a knife, it's understood he was sectioned in around 2014.

    The 32-year-old was born to an Iraqi mother – and grew up in Dubai before moving to the UK, it's claimed.

    Almeni allegedly converted to Christianity in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral in March 2017 – which was the place he asked cabbie David Perry to initially drive him to.

    It's believed this was his initial target in the terror attack.

  • Joseph Gamp

    What we know so far…

    • Police named the man killed in the taxi bomb as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen
    • He also went by the name Enzo Almeni
    • The terrorist was killed and taxi driver injured in a car bomb blast at Liverpool Women's Hospital yesterday
    • Hero cabbie Dave Perry locked the passenger in the taxi to prevent further disaster
    • The horror is being treated as a terrorist incident but the motive is unclear
    • Four people have been arrested on suspicion of terror offences
    • The bomb was homemade and manufactured 'by the passenger in the taxi'
    • Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra meeting today as the terror threat is raised to the second highest level of 'severe'

    Police cordon remains at Rutland Avenue

    A police cordon remains in place on Rutland Avenue near Sefton Park in Liverpool.

    A crime scene investigator wearing a white suit was seen going in and out of a property in the street and a number of police vehicles were at the scene.

    Police helped to carry shopping deliveries and a Deliveroo to properties within the cordon.

    'Sickening'

    Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference the attack outside Liverpool Women's Hospital was "sickening".

    The Prime Minister said: "What yesterday showed above all is that the British people will never be cowed by terrorism, we will never give in to those who seek to divide us with senseless acts of violence.

    "And our freedoms and our way of life will always prevail."

    He said emergency services responded with "such speed and professionalism".

    But he added: "It is a stark reminder of the need for us all to remain utterly vigilant."

    No connection to Remembrance Sunday events at this time – police

    ACC Jackson said they “cannot at this time draw any connection” with Remembrance Sunday events nearby but confirmed it is a line of inquiry.

    The officer added: "Remarkably, the taxi driver, escaped from the cab. He has been treated for the injuries he sustained and has now been released from hospital.

    "Emergency services quickly attended the scene and Merseyside Fire and Rescue put out the fire following which it quickly became apparent that the passenger remained in the vehicle and was deceased.

    "It is not clear what the motivation for this incident is.

    "Our enquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device has been manufactured and our assumption so far is that this was built by the passenger in the taxi.

    "The reason why he then took it to the Women's Hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion.

    "Although, the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and Counter Terrorism Policing are continuing with the investigation."

    No wider risk to public but investigations continue

    Police said on Monday they had conducted a controlled explosion after a blast in a taxi outside a hospital in Liverpool on Sunday which was declared a terrorist incident by the authorities.

    "Officers investigating the explosion at Liverpool Women's Hospital yesterday… have carried out a controlled explosion as a precaution at Sefton Park in Liverpool as part of the ongoing investigation," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

    "There is believed to be no wider risk to the public and the investigation continues.

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      Four men arrested under terrorism laws

      Four men have been arrested under terrorism laws in the Kensington area of Liverpool – three aged 21, 26 and 29, who were held on Sunday, and a man aged 20, who was detained on Monday.

      MI5 is assisting the police with the investigation.

      Official sources previously confirmed to the PA news agency the suspect was not previously known to the security services.

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      Police statement as suspect is named

      Police added that they have recovered "significant items" from the home on Rutland Avenue that Al Swealmeen rented.

      The senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks said tonight: "Our enquiries are very much ongoing but at this stage we strongly believe that the deceased is 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen.

      "Al Swealmeen is connected to both the Rutland Avenue and Sutcliffe Street addresses where searches are still ongoing.

      "We believe he lived at the Sutcliffe Street address for some time and had recently rented the Rutland Avenue address.

      "Our focus is the Rutland Avenue address where we have continued to recover significant items.

      "We continue to appeal for any information about this incident and now that we have released his name any information that the public may have about Al Swealmeen no matter how small may be of great assistance to us."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Who is Enzo Almeni?

      Almeni is a Syrian asylum seeker who converted to Christianity and was once arrested for carrying a knife.

      It's understood he arrived in the UK several years ago, and has mostly lived in Liverpool.

      He was being supported by Christian volunteers from a network of churches who help asylum seekers, according to MailOnline.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Pictured: Liverpool bomb suspect Emad Al Swealmeen

      THE LIVERPOOL hospital bomber has been named by police as terror cops continue to search "bomb factory" houses in the area.

      Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, has been named as the man who died after the taxi exploded in a fireball just seconds after pulling up outside of Liverpool Women's Hospital.

      Police said that they "strongly believe" that the man who died in the car bomb terror attack was Emad Al Swealmeen – also known as Enzo Almeni in Britain.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Police 'strongly believe' man who died is Emad Al Swealmeen

      Police said that they "strongly believe" that the man who died in the car bomb terror attack was Emad Al Swealmeen.

      The 32-year-old has connections to both Rutland Avenue and Sutcliffe Street – where cops are continuing to search for clues.

      Al Swealmeen took a taxi to the hospital in Liverpool with a handmade bomb – before the explosive detonated in the vehicle.

    • Joseph Gamp

      What we know so far (continued…)

      • – Police believe they know the identity of the passenger but have not confirmed it publicly.
      • – The suspect is understood to be of Middle Eastern origin and reportedly settled in Britain several years ago.
      • – Official sources confirmed to the PA news agency that the man who died was not previously known to the security services.
      • – Detectives are unsure what the motivation behind the attack was, the reason for the device's "sudden explosion" or why the passenger asked to be taken to the hospital.
      • – Three men aged 21, 26 and 29 were detained on Sunday in Sutcliffe Street in the nearby Kensington area of the city.
      • – A fourth man, aged 20, was arrested on Monday, also in the Kensington area.
      • Joseph Gamp

        BREAKING: Terrorist behind Liverpool bomb NAMED

        British police on Monday named the man behind a Liverpool taxi blast, which authorities have called a terrorist incident, as 32-year old Emad Al Swealmeen.

        "Our enquiries are very much ongoing but at this stage we strongly believe that the deceased is 32 year old Emad Al Swealmeen," Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks from Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

        "Al Swealmeen is connected to both the Rutland Avenue and Sutcliffe Street addresses where searches are still ongoing.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Liverpool explosion: What we know so far

        • – The explosion happened inside a taxi outside the hospital moments before 11am on Remembrance Sunday.
        • – Emergency services were on the scene within minutes and one man, the passenger in the taxi, was pronounced dead.
        • – The driver of the taxi, named locally as David Perry, was injured but managed to escape and has since been released from hospital.
        • – He picked up the passenger in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool, roughly a 10-minute drive from Liverpool Women's Hospital, said Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, from Counter-Terrorism Policing North West.
        • – Officers said an explosion came from within the car as it approached the drop-off point.
        • – Police have declared the event a "terrorist incident" and said the proximity in location and time to Remembrance services was a "line of inquiry", though officers cannot draw a connection "at this time".
        • – The UK terror threat level was raised to severe in the wake of the incident, meaning an attack is highly likely.
        • – Officers say "inquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device has been manufactured" and are working under the assumption the passenger built it in the taxi.

        UK terror level raised to 'severe'

        The UK's terrorism threat level has been raised after two attacks in the space of a month.

        It is now listed as "severe", which means an attack is "highly likely".

        The threat level had been lowered to "substantial" in February, meaning an attack is "likely", after being raised to severe in November last year.

        Terrorist was picked up at Rutland Avenue

        Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, Counter Terrorism North West, said the dead bomber was picked up in Rutland Avenue just before 11am.

        He then asked to be taken to Liverpool Women’s Hospital, which is around ten minutes away.

        As the taxi approached the hospital, the explosion tore through the car and engulfed it in a fireball.

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