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Remembrance Sunday explosive was stuffed with shrapnel and could have caused many casualties

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Hospital bomber’s device was packed with NAILS and BOLTS: Remembrance Sunday explosive was stuffed with shrapnel and could have caused many casualties, sources say

  • Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, loaded the homemade device with nails and bolts
  • It failed to fully detonate when it went off outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital
  • Experts believe metal fragments would have flung in all directions










The Remembrance Sunday bomb was packed with shrapnel and could have caused many casualties had it exploded properly, sources said yesterday.

Emad Al Swealmeen loaded the homemade 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.

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

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

Forensic tests are expected to reveal why it failed.

The taxi’s driver David 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.

Misfire: The taxi burns after the bomb goes off

Misfire: The taxi burns after the bomb goes off

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.

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

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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