Liverpool hospital bomber called brother saying he might do ‘something bad’


The 32-year-old asylum seeker Emad Al Swealmeen died when the device detonated and the taxi he was in set alight from his improvised explosive device

The taxi went up in flames
The taxi went up in flames outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital

A terrorist who set off a bomb in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday called his brother in the days before the attack to say he might do something bad.

Emad Al Swealmeen manufactured an improvised explosive device with “murderous intent” which killed him, an inquest into his death found.

The 32-year-old asylum seeker died when the device detonated and the taxi he was in set alight, the hearing heard.

Al Swealmeen was picked up in the taxi shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday this year and asked the driver to take him to the hospital.

The taxi exploded as it pulled up at the site, as the driver managed to escape.

The incident was declared a terrorist attack and the UK terror threat level was subsequently raised from substantial to severe, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Recording a narrative conclusion at today’s inquest hearing at Liverpool and Wirral Coroner’s Court, senior coroner Andre Rebello said: “On November 14 2021 Emad Jamil Salman Al Swealmeen died in a taxi in front of Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

“He died from an explosion and subsequent fire caused by an improvised explosive device which he had carried into the taxi.

“It is found he manufactured the improvised explosive device, designed to project shrapnel, with murderous intent.”

He said the device was made at a flat rented by Al Swealmeen, who was born in Baghdad, in Rutland Avenue in Liverpool.

He added: “It remains unclear as to whether he intended the device to detonate when it did.”

The inquest heard that Al Swealmeen rang his brother two days before he died and suggested he might do “something bad”.

The bomb exploded in the taxi

Mr Rebello said Al Swealmeen’s brother, who lives in America, said he had spoken to him on Friday, November 12, two days before the bomb went off.

He told the inquest: “He says towards the end of call Emad said something like ‘if I do something bad that will affect the family what do you think?’

“He replied something like ‘don’t do s**t’, advising him as an older brother, although this was something which caused him concern, knowing his previous issues.”

He said Al Swealmeen had been in prison in the Middle East for a serious assault on another person, as well as being in trouble in Liverpool previously for possession of an offensive weapon.


Emad Al Swealmeen died in an explosion caused by his own bomb

The inquest heard that Al Swealmeen came to the country legally in May 2014 with a Jordanian passport and UK visa.

“Shortly after his arrival he claimed, it is believed, falsely, that he was of Syrian heritage and claimed asylum as a refugee from that country,” Mr Rebello told the hearing.

He said that claim and all subsequent claims for asylum were refused, with the latest refusal in November 2020.

Mr Rebello said there had been reports Al Swealmeen had rejected Islam and converted to Christianity.

He asked Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks, the senior investigating officer in the case, if this could be to strengthen his asylum claim.

Police forensics officers at the hospital
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Meeks said: “I’d agree with that because he would claim he’d be liable to persecution on return to Syria or Iraq.”

Mr Rebello added: “When premises were searched both a Holy Quran and prayer mat were present and it was fairly evident that he carried out the religious duties of someone who is a follower of Islam, not withstanding the reported conversion to Christianity.”

Al Swealmeen was resident at premises provided by the Home Office in Sutcliffe Street, in the Kensington area of Liverpool, the inquest heard.

However, since April 2021, he had rented a self-contained flat in Rutland Avenue, where he paid the rent monthly in cash.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks confirmed it was accurate to describe the Rutland Avenue address as a “bomb-making factory”.

He confirmed the device used a homemade explosive charge and was intended to cause death and serious injury.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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