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Liverpool suicide bomber used aliases to buy components for homemade ball bearing device

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Poppy Day bomber Emad Al Swealmeen’s ball bearing-packed explosive may have been accidentally set off when the taxi he used to get to his target suddenly stopped.

Counter-terrorism police confirmed today they believe the 32-year-old’s Remembrance Day weapon would have caused ‘significant injury or death’ if it had gone off outside.

But the fact it detonated inside innocent David Perry’s taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, meant only the bomber was killed.

Police also disclosed today that devious Al Swealmeen purchased components from his bomb individually and by using a number of fake names to avoid flagging systems.

They have also ruled out any connection to the horrific Manchester Arena atrocity carried out by jihadi Salman Abedi.

Counter-terror officers are also nearing completing of a full picture of Al Swealmeen’s recent state of mind after speaking last night to his brother.

Early accounts of Mr Perry’s bravery suggested he had stopped the taxi after spotting parts of his passenger’s device.

The new police theory on the early detonation being triggered by the cab halting means the driver effectively foiled the deadly plot.

Emad Al-Swealmeen, 32, pictured, loaded a homemade explosive device with nails and bolts but it failed to fully detonate when it went off in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on Sunday

Emad Al-Swealmeen, 32, pictured, loaded a homemade explosive device with nails and bolts but it failed to fully detonate when it went off in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on Sunday

Misfire: The taxi burns after the bomb goes off, now thought to have been sparked by the stop

Misfire: The taxi burns after the bomb goes off, now thought to have been sparked by the stop

The counter-terror police's new theory means Mr Perry foiled the attack by stopping his cab

The counter-terror police’s new theory means Mr Perry foiled the attack by stopping his cab

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, Head of Counter Terrorism Police North West said: ‘We continue to make significant progress in relation to the CT incident at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

‘Officers spoke with the brother of Al Swealmeen yesterday evening and this has given us an insight into his early years and an understanding of Al Swealmeen’s life and his recent state of mind which is an important line of investigation. We are grateful for members of the public who knew him and have contacted us.

‘Although there is much scientific work to do on the device to determine what made it up, we have learned a great deal over the past five days.

‘It was made using homemade explosive and had ball bearings attached to it which would have acted as shrapnel. Had it detonated in different circumstances we believe it would have caused significant injury or death.

‘We still do not know how or why the device exploded when it did, but we are not discounting it being completely unintentional, and it is a possibility that the movement of the vehicle or its stopping caused the ignition.

‘We are spending considerable time seeking to understand the way the purchases for the ingredients to make the device were made. This is complicated because purchases have spanned many months and Al Swealmeen has used many aliases. We are confident however that in time we will get a full picture of what purchases were made and how, and if anyone else was involved or knew what Al Swealmeen was up to.

Aerial view of damaged car being removed by forensic officer after the explosion at the Liverpool Women's Hospital on Remembrance Sunday

Aerial view of damaged car being removed by forensic officer after the explosion at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday

Emad Al Swealmeen, who was baptised and confirmed at the city's Anglican cathedral in 2017, and went on to work as a pizza chef having made repeated asylum applications and appeals, including one under a new identity

Emad Al Swealmeen, who was baptised and confirmed at the city's Anglican cathedral in 2017, and went on to work as a pizza chef having made repeated asylum applications and appeals, including one under a new identity

Emad Al Swealmeen, who was baptised and confirmed at the city’s Anglican cathedral in 2017 (left) after being taken in by lay pastor Malcolm Hitchcott (together right), and went on to work as a pizza chef having made repeated asylum applications and appeals, including one under a new identity

His homemade bomb blew up as he approached the hospital after he was 'jolted'. Experts have suggested it could have been a poorly made Mother of Satan device or even one put together with fireworks

His homemade bomb blew up as he approached the hospital after he was ‘jolted’. Experts have suggested it could have been a poorly made Mother of Satan device or even one put together with fireworks

Priti Patel accuses church of helping asylum seekers ‘game the system’ by converting to Christianity 

The Church of England was today accused of aiding asylum seekers to ‘game’ the immigration system by helping hundreds to convert from Islam and ‘pray to stay’ in the UK as it emerged people smugglers are using Instagram to urge migrants to follow Jesus to help them gain British citizenship. 

Emad Al Swealmeen lost his first bid to stay in Britain in 2014 but appealed again in 2017 after he worshipped at Liverpool Cathedral and his case was still outstanding when he blew himself up in a taxi on Sunday.

He was baptised and confirmed having apparently spoken ‘endlessly and passionately about Jesus’, but members of the city’s largest Anglican church admitted they ‘lost contact’ with him within months of the ceremony. He was one of around 200 asylum seekers to adopt the faith there over a four-year period.

A clergyman at Liverpool Cathedral previously raised concerns about asylum seekers cynically posing as Christians to boost their chances of being awarded refugee status. Rev Mohammad Eghtedarian admitted in 2016 that ‘plenty of people’ were lying about their intentions after it emerged that the Church of England had christened hundreds of asylum seekers under a scheme dubbed ‘pray to stay’. 

He said: ‘There are many people abusing the system… I’m not ashamed of saying that. But is it the person’s fault or the system’s fault? And who are they deceiving? The Home Office, me as a pastor, or God?’  

MPs are to demand a ­formal Parliamentary probe into whether fake Christian converts are duping the Church of England to avoid being deported back to strict Muslim countries they came from. 

It came as new statistics revealed that between January 2020 and June this year, 29% of all migrants arriving by boat say they are from Iran and 20% say they are from Iraq. 91% of all migrants came from just 10 countries – including Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen. These are also nations named in the top 20 countries where Christians are the most persecuted for following Jesus. 

Priti Patel said last night that Al Swealmeen, who changed his name to Enzo Almeni shortly after finding Jesus, exploited the UK’s asylum ‘merry-go-round’ while a Home Office source said changing from Islam to Christianity is now ‘standard practice’ among asylum seekers ‘to game the asylum system’.  

‘We have found no connection between this incident and the terrible events of Manchester in May 2017. The device was also different to the one used in the Manchester Arena attack.

‘The investigation is still moving at a very fast pace and will continue into the weekend and the coming weeks.’ 

Experts believe had the bomb functioned as intended, metal fragments would have been flung in all directions, shredding the car and cutting down passers-by.

Forensic tests are expected to reveal why it failed.

Mr Perry is thought to have escaped serious injury because the blast was largely confined to the back seat before the vehicle erupted in flames.

Yesterday it emerged that Al Swealmeen, 32, had spent months trawling the internet to buy chemicals and metal components in small quantities to avoid detection.

The failed asylum seeker, who arrived in Britain from Iraq, is said to have had online shopping packages constantly arriving at his rented flat in Liverpool.

Officers have recovered traces of chemicals from the bomb factory indicating that he experimented with various explosives.

One of the recipes he is understood to have followed was for hexamethylene triperoxide diamine – the same material used by the July 7 2005 London bombers.

In previous terror attacks such as the Manchester Arena bombing and the Parsons Green tube explosion, key ingredients were bought on Amazon.

Yesterday, the company said it was checking to see if Al Swealmeen had bought chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

An Amazon spokesman said: ‘We only sell products that comply with UK laws. In addition, we also continue to work closely with police and law enforcement agencies.’

The motive for the attack remains unclear because officers have yet to access the bomber’s computers.

Al Swealmeen had converted to Christianity in Liverpool Cathedral and attended services in the suburb of Fazakerley until 2019. But he later dropped out of sight, according to the leaders of his local church.

Yesterday there were reports suggesting that he had regularly attended a local mosque.

Far-Right extremism has for the first time overtaken Islamism as the main reason for referrals to the Government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent, say official figures.

It was behind 1,229 referrals, about a quarter of the 4,915 made from April 2020 to March this year.

There were 1,064 about Islamism – 22 per cent. Most of the rest were for individuals with mixed, unstable or unclear ideologies.

The impact of coronavirus curbs led to a 22 per cent drop in referrals to Prevent, the first since records began in 2016. Under-20s account for 48 per cent of cases – and men for 88 per cent.



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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