olice investigating the terror attack outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital have named the suspected bomber who died in the blast as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen.
He was a passenger in a taxi when a suspected homemade bomb exploded shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday.
It emerged on Monday night that Al Swealmeen was an asylum seeker who had converted from Islam to Christianity at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in 2017.
Al Swealmeen arrived in Britain from the Middle East about six years ago and claimed to be from either Syria or Iraq, according to The Times. He is said to have been sectioned seven years ago after trying to take his own life by jumping off an overpass, while waving a knife, in central Liverpool.
The driver David Perry escaped before the car caught fire and has since been discharged from hospital.
Police said the explosion had been declared as a terrorist incident and four men were arrested under the Terrorism Act. They have since been released. Security supplies told the newspaper that Al Swealmeen was not on MI5’s radar at the time of the attack.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks said: “Our enquiries are very much current 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 method and Sutcliffe Street addresses where searches are nevertheless current.
“We believe he lived at the Sutcliffe Street address for some time and had recently rented the Rutland method address.
“Our focus is the Rutland method address where we have continued to retrieve meaningful items.
“We continue to popularity 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.”
Al Swealmeen had no known connections to any terrorist groups, The Sun reports. He is understood to have been in a long-standing argument with the Home Office over his application for residential position in the UK.
Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchott, Liverpool residents who took him in for eight months, told the newspaper he had “never talked about Islam”.
It is also claimed that he had changed his first name to Enzo Almeni in honour of Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, various media outlets reported.
Police on Monday confirmed bomb-making materials for an improvised explosive device had been found at one of the addresses sealed off by officers on Sunday.
‘Incredible presence of mind’
As smoke and fire engulfed the car, Mr Perry, a 45-year-old married father-of-two, can be seen opening his driver’s door and stumbling out before running to safety. Flames consumed his cab moments later, leaving it a charred wreck as hindered onlookers watched the horrifying scene.
Mr Perry was praised by chief Minister Boris Johnson for behaving with “incredible presence of mind and bravery”, and lauded for his “heroic efforts” by the mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson.
Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street, Mr Johnson said the blast was a “stark reminder” to the public to keep vigilant, adding: “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.”
The chief Minister was set to great number an emergency Cobra meeting on Monday afternoon in response to the incident.
On Monday afternoon a controlled explosion was carried out in Sefton Park “as a precaution” as part of the investigation, police said.
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