Hospital bomber ‘had grievance against UK state’ after rejected asylum claim

A man who detonated a bomb outside a Liverpool women’s hospital had a “grievance against the British state” because his asylum claim was rejected, a police investigation has found.

Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, blew himself up when he detonated a home-made device near the entrance of Liverpool Women’s Hospital on the morning of November 14, 2021. He was waiting outside in a taxi when it detonated, the Echo reports.

Miraculously, taxi driver, David Perry, managed to escape from his Ford Focus following the blast. Al Swealmeen, however, died in the explosion.

The blast, captured on hospital CCTV, propelled ball bearings through the vehicle propelling the front windscreen 16 metres, where it hit a tree.

Detective Superintendent Andy Meeks, of Counter Terrorism Policing North West, told a briefing on Monday it was believed Al Swealmeen intended to go into the hospital and detonate the device, but it was likely it exploded earlier than planned.

He said there was no evidence anyone else was involved in the attack.

A police report on the investigation said there was no evidence Al Swealmeen held extremist views.

It said: “It seems most likely that Al Swealmeen’s grievance against the British state for failing to accept his asylum claim compounded his mental ill-health which, in turn, fed that grievance and ultimately a combination of those factors led him to undertake the attack.”

Mr Meeks said that Al Swealmeen, who was born in Iraq, made significant efforts to remain in the UK, even undergoing a conversion to Christianity, though doubts lingered about his conversion.

He had moved from Iraq to Jordan in the 1990s, arrived in the UK in 2014. 

He applied for a visa in Abu Dhabi, claiming it was for a holiday and to attend the filming of Britain’s Got Talent in Belfast. 

During interviews with Home Office officials, he falsely claimed to be a Syrian national, but his asylum request was denied.

According to Mr Meeks, Al Swealmeen initiated his conversion to Christianity in 2015, after exhausting his asylum appeal options, and was formally baptised at Liverpool Cathedral in November of that year. 

He submitted letters of support from members of the church community to the Home Office in 2017 to support his asylum application.

In January 2020, another asylum claim was rejected, based on the assertion that he had not genuinely embraced the Christian faith and had rejected other belief systems. 

During an investigation, police uncovered that Al Swealmeen had rented a flat in Rutland Avenue for the sole purpose of manufacturing a bomb. 

Inside the flat, officers discovered mixing bowls and bags of explosive materials, along with a mobile phone containing instructions on creating explosives.

A search of his other residence, shared with fellow asylum claimants in Sutcliffe Street, revealed two partially assembled improvised firearms. 

Police found that Al Swealmeen had taken steps to erase the contents of his mobile phones and had made efforts to conceal his intentions.

The report said: “Consequently, we will never truly know why Al Swealmeen took the actions that he did that led to the explosion outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.”



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