Liverpool bomber reportedly wanted maximum carnage in targeting mums & babies
Yet the hospital wasn't his initial target.
The man who set off an explosive device in a taxi outside Liverpool Women's Hospital reportedly wanted to cause mayhem and carnage in targeting new mums and babies.
32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen died on Sunday after an "improvised explosive device" he made went off in a taxi he had taken to the hospital before he got a chance to enter the building.
According to the Mirror, he initially intended to target church-goers who had helped him convert from Islam to Christianity, but when his route was blocked by traffic and road closures he told the taxi driver to head to the hospital instead.
A senior former intelligence source told the publication: “The bomber intended to enter the hospital and trigger his device, but for some reason it went off early and failed properly to initiate.
“Had he successfully set off the bomb inside it would have been extremely bloody and horrific.
“We believe this was a partial explosion, clearly from a device at high-chest level, aimed at causing many casualties.”
The driver, named locally as David Perry, escaped the vehicle and has been hailed a hero for allegedly locking the attacker inside with the device. Perry was treated for his injuries and has already been released from hospital.
Al Swealmeen, who reportedly came to the UK seeking asylum in 2014, converted to Christianity in Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral. There, he met devoted Christians Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchcott, who let him live at their home for eight months.
The couple spoke of their shock at hearing how the “quiet and well mannered” man allegedly intended to bomb women and children.
Worrying images circulating on social media of a car in flames outside the reception of Liverpool Women’s Hospital. @LivEchonews reporting area shut off and police in attendance. I hope no one is hurt. pic.twitter.com/24orOjm38G
— James Corbett (@james_corbett) November 14, 2021
Mr Hitchcott told the Mirror: “It’s terribly sad. We loved him. He was a lovely guy and we are shocked. We are shocked because a less likely candidate you could not imagine.
“He first came to the cathedral in August 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity. He was destitute at that time and we took him in.”
The couple said he never spoke about his time in Syria, where his dad was from, or Iraq, where he was born and where his mum was from.
Al Swealmeen is believed to have battled with his mental health, with friends telling the media he had previously been sectioned for brandishing a knife in the city centre.
Four men, aged 29, 26, 21 and 20, were arrested in connection with the explosion.