Tuesday, January 18

Liverpool attack: the author intended to kill, justice concludes

(Belga) The author of the explosion of a taxi in November in Liverpool, in the north of England, intended to kill, the British justice concluded Thursday.

The bomb of Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, of Iraqi origin, exploded on November 14 while he was as a passenger in the taxi in front of a women’s hospital, during the commemoration of the victims of the wars. The police consider it a terrorist act, which killed the suspect and injured the taxi driver, even if no ideological motive has been identified. Emad Al Swealmeen “assembled the explosive device, designed to project fragments, with murderous intent,” Andre Rebello, the “coroner” charged with establishing the circumstances of the explosion, said in his findings. “It is not clear if it was his intention for the device to explode at that time,” he added. Police had previously said that the homemade bomb, which contained metal balls, could have caused “serious injury or death” if it had detonated under other circumstances. The investigation revealed that Emad Al Swealmeen had prepared his attack “at least” since last April. The judicial process has lifted the veil on part of Emad Al Swealmeen’s past, whom the media described as an asylum seeker who had his application rejected and converted to Christianity. According to the coroner, he was born in Baghdad and was jailed in the Middle East for an assault. He was known to the police in Liverpool for possession of a weapon. He arrived in the UK in 2014 with a Jordanian passport and a UK visa. “After his arrival, he claimed to be of Syrian origin and applied for asylum as a refugee from this country,” which he was refused, the last decision dating from November 2020, explained Mr. Rebello. He questioned the sincerity of his conversion to Christianity, which could have served to support his asylum request, adding that a Koran and prayer mattress belonging to him had been found during the searches. After this attack, the United Kingdom raised to “serious” the level of the terrorist threat on British soil, a month after the murder on October 15 of deputy David Amess during a parliamentary visit about sixty kilometers from London. (Belga)


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