A bomber blew up a homemade explosive device in a taxi outside a Liverpool women’s hospital after his asylum claim was rejected, a police investigation has found.
Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, detonated the device while in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on November 14, 2021.
CCTV footage showed how the explosion propelled ball bearings forward through the vehicle to the extent the front windscreen was forced out and travelled 16 metres, where it hit a tree, and damage was caused to the windows of the hospital building.
Taxi driver David Perry managed to escape from the Ford Focus taxi following the blast, which killed Iraqi-born Al Swealmeen.
The bomber spent 20 months planning the attack, which he intended to carry out with makeshift firearms. But when Al Swealmeen’s ‘technical skills fell short’, he turned to bomb-making, a report into the attack revealed.
Photographs show how investigators found two makeshift rifles, magazine clips and 90 dummy cartridges were found hidden beneath floorboards at a house he had shared with other asylum seekers in Liverpool since 2019.
Al Swealmeen abandoned his plan to use makeshift firearms in the attack after being unable to get them to work, anti-terror officers revealed.
Using ingredients he bought under a false name, Al Swealmeen later built an explosive device in a flat he rented. He bought the supplies with cash for the ‘sole purpose’ of building the bomb, the report said.
It was from that property – where he kept a prayer mat and Qur’an – that he was collected by Mr Perry, who worked for a local private hire firm, and asked to be taken to the hospital.
Al Swealmeen died when his bomb detonated ‘earlier than planned’ in the taxi just before 11am on Remembrance Sunday 2021.
The device was intended ‘to inflict multiple casualties’ and contained ‘several hundred’ ball bearings, police said. It propelled the taxi’s windscreen 16 metres into the air, while shrapnel peppered the hospital frontage.