Liverpool terrorist could have used ‘Mother of Satan’ device similar to one used in the Manchester Arena bombing

The suspected Liverpool terrorist could have blown himself up with a device similar to the one used in the Manchester Arena bombing, it is understood.

Emad Al Swealmeen died in the explosion in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday (November 11).

The driver of the taxi, David Perry, escaped from the vehicle seconds after the unit exploded.

MPs in the House of Commons today suggested that the used device could be an improvised explosive device known as TATP, also known as ‘Mother of Satan’ – the same type of bomb used in the 2017 Manchester terrorist attack on the Arena, reports the Liverpool Echo.

TATP devices are also believed to have been used in the Paris attacks in 2015 and the failed Parsons Green Underground attack in 2017.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, of Counter-Terrorism Police North West, told former reporters that the explosive used in the Liverpool conspiracy had been “manufactured” and the force’s assumption was that it was built by Al Swealmeen.

In an urgent debate in parliament on Tuesday, a number of MPs asked about the nature of the device used.

Home Secretary Kit Malthouse said forensic investigations are continuing at locations across the city and he could not comment on the details of the explosion.

It is understood that the investigation among other things examines whether the main charge on the device did not explode.

St Helens MP Connor McGinn asked why recommendations regarding the regulation of the ingredients used to make homemade bombs had not been implemented after terrorist attacks four years ago.

Scottish National MP Brendan O’Hara reiterated his concerns, telling MEPs: “There is a belief that this device was similar to the one used in Manchester four years ago”.

He asked: “Whether true or not, how confident is the Minister that the controls currently in place regarding access to these chemicals are robust and strong enough to prevent this from happening in the future? ? “

In response, Mr Malthouse said officials “are not yet aware” of the suspect’s motivation.

It is understood that an Islamist terror plot is one of the investigations, but investigators are keeping an open mind and the motivation has not yet been determined.

“In terms of the materials, there are similarly ongoing forensic examinations of premises that have been occupied, and indeed of the vehicle itself,” said Mr. Malthouse to Commons.

“Until we know what the circumstances are, it is difficult to draw conclusions.”

Emad al Swealmeen lived with Hitchcotts for eight months

Labor MP Kevan Jones told MPs that the rules for chemicals used to make explosive devices “should have been updated after the Manchester Arena attack”, according to recommendations from the Intelligence and Security Committee.

He said: “The minister says things are unclear and he can not comment, but what is clear is that none of these recommendations have been taken on board.”

Sir. Malthouse told MPs that forensic investigations “have not yet been completed” but that we will afterwards “be able to draw some experience on the combustion and the chemicals that may or may not have been used”.

Earlier today, it emerged that Al Swealmeen was a Christian convert who was reportedly denied asylum in 2014.

The suspected terrorist is said to have moved to Britain from the Middle East several years ago and was backed by a Christian couple who at one time housed him in Liverpool.

Malcolm Hitchcott, who along with his wife Elizabeth had taken Al Swealmeen in to stay with them, said the suspect had only come to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in 2015 to convert from Islam to Christianity.

Police and forensic pathologists present at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on 15 November

Al Swealmeen was baptized in 2015 and confirmed in 2017, but lost contact with the cathedral in 2018, according to a spokesman for the cathedral.

In a speech to ITV, Hitchcott said there was “never any hint of anything wrong” during the eight months Al Swealmeen lived with them.

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

The incident has been declared a terrorist attack, and the UK terror threat level has since been raised from significant to serious, meaning an attack is “very likely” rather than “likely”.

Aerial photo of police activity following the explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Questions have also been raised as to whether Al Swealmeen was a so-called ‘lone wolf’ terrorist.

During a visit to Liverpool this afternoon, Home Secretary Damian Hinds said there was currently no evidence of a “terror cell” in Liverpool, but he would not confirm whether the suspected bomber was known to security services.

He spoke at the Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Joint Command Center in Bootle and told Echo that police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

“That does not mean that further down in the investigation there could not be an identification of another, but not at the moment,” he said.

“Sometimes people use the term ‘lone wolf’, and in a way it paints a certain image of someone, which is not always entirely useful.

“But what I can say is that there has certainly been a shift over time from people working as part of a larger organization, and where their actions are directed through a hierarchy from elsewhere internationally, and often quite complex plots. .

“There’s been a shift from that to the more individual, but when I say individual, people are rarely completely individual because people talk to people, people are on the internet, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so important that everyone can think about is there something I saw, something I know about how this attack was planned and prepared, and what happened, and if they do to report to the local police or Crimestoppers. “

Security Minister Damian Hinds during a visit to the Joint Police and Fire Command and Control (JCC) in Bootle

Four men arrested under terrorism law in the Kensington area of ​​Liverpool – three aged 21, 26 and 29, who were detained on Sunday and a man aged 20, who were detained on Monday – have now been released from police custody after questioning. .

Sir. Malthouse told Commons MPs that it was one of the “most difficult areas of the investigation” to determine whether the attacker acted alone.

“We are constantly aware of where we believe the threat is coming from and refining our ability to both identify it and prevent it from popping up in the first place,” he said.

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He said there have been a number of “different styles and different types of attacks over the years”, using what became known as the “Mumbai style attack” as an example.

“We did extensive work to protect ourselves from that kind of attack,” he said.

“Similar work will be underway as we see this phenomenon increase and I can assure him that considerable attention and resources will be given to it.”

Malthouse also said the government was “working on the implications” of the Covid shutdowns on crime and possible online radicalization.

It comes after Mr Hinds said it was right to be concerned about those who had been radicalized during the pandemic.

In a speech to Sky News, 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 have seen a move 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 completely, completely alone. ”

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