The male who died following an explosion outside the main entrance to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital has been named as failed asylum seeker Emad Al-Swealmeen.
Al-Swealmeen is reported to have had both Syrian and Iraqi heritage.
He changed his name by deed poll to Enzo Almeni and was 32-years-old. It is not clear how or exactly when he entered the country, or when his name was changed.
It has been reported that his application for asylum in the UK was rejected seven years ago in 2014, and shortly after, he was arrested after walking down a high street whilst brandishing a knife.
He was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act for ‘several months’ before being released into the community.
Almeni spent much of his time in Liverpool and was taken in by devout Christians Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchcott at their home in Aigburth.
The Hitchcott’s were part of a volunteer group that were helping asylum seekers in the area.
Former soldier Mr Hitchott told The Sun newspaper:
“He first came to the cathedral in August 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity.
“He took an Alpha Course, which explains the Christian faith, and completed it in November of that year.
“That enabled him to come to an informed decision and he changed from Islam to Christianity and was confirmed as a Christian just before he came to live with us.
“He was destitute at that time and we took him in. The UK asylum people were never convinced he was Syrian and he was refused asylum in 2014.
“He had his case rejected because he has been sectioned due to some mental health incident where he was waving a knife at people from an overpass.”
Police said he had been living at a hostel for asylum seekers – run by private contracting giant Serco – in Sutcliffe Street, Liverpool, ‘for some time’ before renting an address which he turned into a ‘bomb factory’ two miles away in Rutland Avenue.
On Remembrance Sunday, Almeni ordered a cab to pick him up from an address in Rutland Avenue. Almeni had an improvised explosive device that is reported to have been packed with ball bearings.
It is thought that Almeni had initially asked to be taken to a local remembrance day parade where up to 1,200 people had gathered.
But owing to local road closures and heavy traffic, he was prevented from getting there.
The taxi driver who picked up Almeni ended up driving him to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, one of the largest maternity units in Europe.
Once the car stopped outside, at around 11:00 hours, an explosion was initiated, which killed Almeni and injured the driver.
It has been reported that the driver of the taxi, David Perry, had locked Almeni inside the cab to prevent him from entering the hospital.
Mr Perry is now at home recovering from his ordeal having been treated overnight for his injuries.
Four men arrested under the Terrorism Act 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 – have now been released from police custody extensive and comprehensive interviews with specialist counter-terrorism detectives.
On 15th November, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) took the decision to raise the UK National Threat Level from substantial, meaning an attack is likely, to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.
It came exactly a month after Conservative MP Sir David Amess was fatally stabbed during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and was later detained under the Terrorism Act. On 21 October, he was charged with murder and preparing terrorist acts
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, said:
“Following interviews with the arrested men, we are satisfied with the accounts they have provided and they have been released from police custody.
“The investigation continues to move at a fast pace with investigative teams working throughout the night.
“We have made significant progress since Sunday morning and have a much greater understanding of the component parts of the device, how they were obtained and how the parts are likely to have been assembled.
“We have also recovered important evidence from the address at Rutland Avenue which is becoming central to the investigation.
“There is a considerable way to go to understand how this incident was planned, prepared for and how it happened. We are gaining a better understanding by the hour but it is likely to be some time, perhaps many weeks until we are confident on our understanding of what has taken place.
“In the meantime, we have considerable resources and staff deployed to understand how this device was built and who if anyone else was involved. If the evidence takes us to the involvement of others, further arrests will quickly take place.”
The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks, said,
”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.”
Anyone who has any information should call on 0161 856 1027 quoting Liverpool Women’s Hospital incident.
Details can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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