Liverpool bomber made device with murderous intent, coroner says

AFP , Thursday 30 Dec 2021

A coroner ruled Thursday that a man who died in a taxi blast outside a Liverpool hospital was killed by a bomb he created to kill others.

Liverpool bomb
File Photo: Emergency services outside Liverpool Women s Hospital in Liverpool, England, taken on Sunday, November 14, 2021.AP

The inquest found that 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen died when the taxi he was travelling in as a passenger exploded and caught fire outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in northwest England on November 14.

Iraq-born Swealmeen made the improvised explosive device with "murderous intent", said senior coroner Andre Rebello at Liverpool and Wirral Coroner's Court.

The driver managed to escape the vehicle and survived the explosion, which was declared a terrorist incident by police.

It was the second attack in Britain within a month, after an MP was stabbed to death as he met constituents in October. This prompted the government to raise the terror threat level to "severe".

Swealmeen had bought 2,000 ball bearings to pack the device and rented a flat to use as a "bomb-making factory", the inquest said.

The coroner concluded that "it is clear from the evidence... this device could only have been manufactured with murderous intent, fortunately there was only one victim".

Counter-terrorism police have previously said that Swealmeen planned the attack for at least seven months, using "many aliases" to purchase the ingredients for the bomb.

The coroner said it was unclear whether Swealmeen had deliberately detonated the device outside the hospital, minutes before events to honour Remembrance Sunday.

The blast blew out the car's windscreen and damaged hospital windows.

Swealmeen had previous convictions and had falsely claimed asylum as a Syrian refugee in the UK after arriving legally on a Jordanian passport.

His asylum claims had been refused and a counter-terrorism police officer suggested to the inquest that Swealmeen might have recently converted to Christianity with the aim of strengthening his case to stay.

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