The explosion in a taxi outside a Liverpool hospital has been declared a terrorist attack and the suspect killed in the explosion has been named.
Emad Al Swealmeen died after a self-made bomb exploded in a vehicle in front of Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11 a.m. on Memorial Sunday.
The 32-year-old, known to friends in the UK as Enzo Almeni, was the only passenger. Taxi driver David Perry was injured but escaped and has since been released from the hospital.
Four men, aged 20, 21, 26 and 29, believed to be “employees” of the taxi driver, were arrested in the Kensington neighborhood and subsequently released.
The anti-terror police are now investigating the incident with the support of the MI5 security service.
Police were called at 10:59 a.m. on Sunday November 14th to report a car explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
A video has emerged of David Perry’s taxi pulling up outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and an explosion going off inside.
Mr. Perry is seen opening the door and swaying before the vehicle goes up in flames. He has now been released from the hospital.
Phil Garrigan, chief fire officer for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire was “fully developed” when the fire department arrived just after 11am.
Mr Perry picked up the suspect on Rutland Avenue in Liverpool, about a 10-minute drive from Liverpool Women’s Hospital, according to Counter Terrorism Policing North West’s Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson.
The hospital was a short walk from the city’s cathedral, which was hosting a large memorial service that was attended by more than 2,000 people who wanted to keep the traditional two-minute silence at 11 a.m.
Large screens had been set up in the cathedral grounds so that people who could not attend the service could follow it outside. Local streets were also closed for a parade associated with the event.
The suspect who died in the explosion was named 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen, also known as Enzo Almeni, by anti-terrorism police.
He came to the UK from the Middle East prior to 2014 and was previously unknown to security services.
He reportedly converted to Christianity and was supported by a Christian couple who temporarily placed him in Liverpool.
Malcolm Hitchcott and his wife Elizabeth said the suspect first came to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in 2015 and is seeking to convert from Islam to Christianity.
He said The sun: “He was penniless at the time and we took him in. British asylum seekers were never convinced that he was Syrian and he was refused asylum in 2014.
“His case was rejected because it was divided into sections due to a mental incident in which he waved a knife at people from an overpass.”
He is said to have converted to Christianity in the city’s Anglican Cathedral in 2017.
Ms. Hitchcott told ITV that in the eight months that Al Swealmeen lived with the couple, there was “never any hint of anything wrong”.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: “We’re just so, so sad. We just loved him, he was a lovely guy. ”When asked if the couple were shocked by the incident, she added,“ Very much. ”
The suspect, who the couple describes as an artist and motorsport fan, is said to have changed his name to the Italian name Enzo – after the renowned racing driver Enzo Ferrari.
The sun said he was a Jordanian national who had spent time in Iraq, where his mother was from, but this has not been officially confirmed.
Four men in their twenties were arrested in the Kensington neighborhood of Liverpool following the Section 41 Terrorism Act incident.
Three of the men – 21, 26 and 29 years old – were arrested on Sutcliffe Street Sunday evening, where witnesses reported gunmen approaching a row house just hours after the hospital explosion. A fourth man, aged 20, was also arrested on Monday in the same neighborhood.
All four have since been released from police custody after being questioned.
Two addresses, one on Sutcliffe Street and one on Rutland Avenue, were searched, with the second address revealing “significant items” according to anti-terrorism police.