As it happenedended1637165730

Liverpool bomb attack: Army explosives team at home linked to suspect, as taxi driver interviewed

Developments as they happened on Wednesday

Tom Batchelor
Wednesday 17 November 2021 16:15

Related video: Couple who sheltered Liverpool terror suspect speaks out

Police investigating the Liverpool taxi explosion have extended a cordon around a property in the Kensington area of the city to allow them to assess “materials” they found during their search on asylum accomodation in Sutcliffe Street.

A Royal Logistics Corp bomb disposal vehicle has arrived along with a fire engine and residents living within the cordon were told they were not able to return home.

It comes as investigators continue to work on piecing together a motive for the blast. Earlier on Wednesday, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West said Emad al-Swealmeen had been buying parts for his homemade device since at least April.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool taxi driver who reportedly averted disaster by locking bomber al-Swealmeen in his vehicle is said to have spoken to counter terrorism officers for 90 minutes at his home in the north of the city.


Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of developments in the wake of the Liverpool Remembrance Sunday taxi explosion.

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 08:07

Emad al-Swealmeen refused permission to appeal to stay in UK

The Liverpool bomb attacker Emad al-Swealmeen, who was said to be a failed asylum seeker, was refused permission to appeal to stay in the country by judges, The Independent has learned.

The suspected terrorist attempted to gain permission to stay in the UK but that was rejected at the First-tier Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

Al-Swealmeen’s attempt to take the case further was turned down, and while the application was being considered, he was arrested for a knife offence.

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 08:17

Investigators struggle to piece together motive and man behind Liverpool explosion

The path that led to Emad al-Swealmeen blowing up a taxi on Remembrance Sunday is unclear and as the investigation progresses, more and more missing pieces emerge, reports Lizzie Dearden.

The 32-year-old did not leave any note or other evidence stating his intentions, The Independent understands, and no terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Read more about the investigation here:

Investigators struggle to piece together motive and man behind Liverpool explosion

Police are probing how a Christian convert who studied cake decorating at college turned into a terrorist, Lizzie Dearden reports

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 08:35

Detectives could still conclude no terror motive to blast

Further to the previous post, The Guardian reports that investigators are struggling to determine any ideological motive to the blast, and may yet conclude that it was not linked to terrorism.

The paper says that officially downgrading the explosion from a terrorist incident is unlikely, but that without any evidence of a link to extremist groups, detectives could still decide that there was no confirmed terror dimension to the blast.

On Tuesday, security minister Damian Hinds said: “The police are going through the evidence, the materials found at the address, and a great deal more is now known about them and more will be known about it over the hours, days and weeks to come.”

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 08:53

Liverpool reverend says al-Swealmeen was involved with church until 2019

Reverend Mike Hindley, from Emmanuel Church in Fazakerley, Liverpool, said Emad al-Swealmeen, who they knew as Enzo, was involved in the church from 2017 to 2019.

He said: “Enzo was here for a couple of years until 2019 when we gradually lost touch with him. It’s just bewildering that a guy who was a really kind guy has ended up in that situation.”

Rev Hindley said al-Swealmeen came to the church from Liverpool Cathedral. He said: “He was around a lot and involved in a lot, but it was just like if anyone else joins the church from somewhere else.”

He said the suspected terrorist “never made a secret” of the fact he had mental health problems, but he did not go into great detail about them with him.

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 09:13

Liverpool bombing linked to ‘dysfunctional’ asylum system, claims Priti Patel

The suspect in the suicide bombing in Liverpool was able to exploit Britain’s “dysfunctional” asylum system to remain in the UK, Priti Patel has said.

The home secretary linked the case to the “complete merry-go-round” of the system, claiming that a “whole industry” was devoted to defending the rights of individuals intent on causing harm.

“The case in Liverpool was a complete reflection of how dysfunctional, how broken, the system has been in the past, and why I want to bring changes forward,” she was quoted as saying.

Here is the story:

Priti Patel links Liverpool bombing to ‘dysfunctional’ asylum system

‘Whole industry’ devoted to defending individuals intent on causing harm, claims home secretary

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 09:33

Attacker had not received recent mental health treatment from Liverpool NHS trust

Emad al-Swealmeen was not under the care of the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services, at the time of the explosion, although he had received treatment in the past.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We can confirm Emad al-Swealmeen had previously accessed our services but was not a service user at the time of the incident.”

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 09:53

Liverpool reels as details of explosion emerge

Our North of England correspondent, Colin Drury, has been speaking to people living close to where police have been carrying out their investigation into the suspected terrorist.

Jamie Wharton, who witnessed a dozen armed police carrying out a raid on Sunday, said: “We have a two- and a one-year-old. We put them in the front bedroom watching TV but I’ve never felt so helpless as a father. I had no idea what I’d do if I started hearing gun fire.”

Paul Hill, who works at Liverpool Tile Warehouse across from the cordoned off house in Sutcliffe Street, said: “What kind of person goes after a hospital? How can you even think about it?”

Read how those living nearby have reacted to the incident here:

‘Who targets a hospital?’ Liverpool reels as details of terror plot emerge

As police probe bomber killed in blast outside maternity ward, revulsion grows on streets of the Kensington area he called home, finds Colin Drury

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 10:21

Emad al-Swealmeen had been planning attack since April

Liverpool bomber Emad al-Swealmeen was born in Iraq and officers believe he had been buying parts for his homemade device since at least April, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West has said. 

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said a “complex picture is emerging over the purchases of the component parts of the device”, adding that al-Swealmeen rented the property from April this year and “we believe relevant purchases have been made at least since that time”.

He added: “We have now traced a next of kin for Al Swealmeen who has informed us that he was born in Iraq.”

“Our enquiries have found that Al Swealmeen has had episodes of mental illness, this will form part of the investigation and will take some time to fully understand.

“There is much comment in the media about Al Swealmeen and it is clear that he was known to many people. We continue to appeal for people who knew him, especially those who associated with him this year as we try and piece together the events leading up to this incident and the reasons for it.”

Here is the full story:

Terrorist had been planning Liverpool bomb attack since April

The terrorist who blew himself up outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital had been planning an attack since at least April, police have said.

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 10:30

Attacker’s cake decorating college responds: ‘We are dismayed to hear of his involvement’

A spokesman for the City of Liverpool College said: “Like many, we are deeply saddened by the events at Liverpool Women’s Hospital this weekend.

“Emad (Enzo) Al Swealmeen was an adult cake decorating student at the college during the 2018/2019 academic year and we are dismayed to hear of his involvement in the tragic events that took place.

“The wellbeing of our students and staff remains the City of Liverpool College’s number one priority during this time, which has been distressing for all across the city and wider city region.

“In line with the public appeals from Merseyside Police and other local leaders, we don’t intend to comment further on what is still an active police investigation at this time.”

Tom Batchelor17 November 2021 10:53

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