Liverpool terrorist attack: Suspect Emad Al Swealmeen allegedly denied asylum and suffered mental health problems | UK News

The suspected terrorist who died in an explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital was reportedly a failed asylum seeker who was suffering from mental health issues.

Police identified the suspect behind Sunday’s attack as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen on Monday.

He moved to the UK after seeking asylum from the Middle East several years ago and had mental health issues, Sky News understands.

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al Swealmeen moved to Britain after seeking asylum from the Middle East several years ago and converted from Islam to Christianity

He later converted from Islam to Christianity and was not thought to have been known by MI5.

An unnamed source, quoted in The Sun, said a question being considered is whether he was motivated by an “unresolved complaint” with the Home Office over an attempt to become a British resident in 2014.

Malcolm Hitchcott, who along with his wife Elizabeth had taken Al Swealmeen into their home to live with them, said the suspect came to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity.

He told the Sun: “He was in distress at the time and we took him in.

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“The British asylum seeker was never convinced that he was Syrian and he was denied asylum in 2014.

“He had his case dismissed because he has been sectioned due to a mental incident in which he waved a knife at people from an overpass.”

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CCTV: Moments before and after taxi explosion

Al Swealmeen reportedly converted from Islam to Christianity at the city’s Anglican Cathedral in 2017.

Mrs Hitchcott told the BBC: “We’re just so, so sad. We just loved him, he was a nice guy.”

She said the couple was “very” shocked.

In a speech to the Daily Telegraph, Hitchcott said: “He was very quiet but deeply moved by the faith in Jesus. I used to pray every day for half an hour in the dining room with him. I do not think he pretended to believe.”

He told ITV: “I mean, he lived here for eight months and we lived cheek to jaw. There was never any hint that anything was wrong.”

The couple described Al Swealmeen as artistic and a motorsport fan. He was reported to have changed his name to Enzo after racing driver Enzo Ferrari.

The Sun reported that he was a Jordanian citizen who had spent some time in Iraq, where his mother came from.

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‘Controlled’ explosion after Liverpool terrorist incident

Home Secretary Damian Hinds told Sky News that the counter-terrorism police are discovering “more per hour”, but warned that it could be weeks before the full picture of what happened emerges.

He said it was right to be concerned about “lone wolves” who had been radicalized during the pandemic.

He said: “We use the term lone wolf a lot, sometimes it’s a little … it can be a little misleading because it gives a certain image of an individual, but it’s certainly true that we’ve seen a movement over time. , a shift from these what we call targeted attacks, part of a larger organization where people follow instructions, sometimes quite complex in their organization, and go from it to more self-governing, some self-radicalized individuals or small groups, rarely totally, all alone.”

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PM: ‘We must all be extremely vigilant’

Officers believe Al Swealmeen was the male passenger there brought a homemade bomb into a taxi and asked to be driven to the hospital shortly before 11 a.m. on Memorial Sunday.

He was picked up in the Rutland Avenue area of ​​the city and the bomb exploded as the car reached the hospital’s passenger drop-off point.

the taxi driver, David Perry, was treated at the hospital after he managed to escape the car just before it caught fire. He has now been discharged.

The British terror threat level was raised from substantial to severe in the wake of the explosion, meaning an attack is “very likely” rather than just “likely”.

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Britain’s terror threat level raised to “serious”

Police searched properties on Rutland Avenue on Monday, where Al Swealmeen was picked up, as well as another address in Sutcliffe Street, where officers believe he previously lived.

Detective Andrew Meeks said: “Our investigations are very ongoing, but at present we are convinced that the deceased is 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen.

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

“We think he lived at the Sutcliffe Street address for some time and had recently rented the address on Rutland Avenue.

“Our focus is on the Rutland Avenue address, where we continue to recover significant items.

“We continue to appeal to 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, can be of great help to us.”

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