Liverpool terror attack: Who was suspected terrorist Emad al Swealmeen and what do we know so far?

Emad al Swealmeen has been named as the suspected terrorist who was killed when a taxi he was in exploded outside a hospital in Liverpool for women and babies.

The 32-year-old came to the UK from the Middle East several years ago and reportedly had an asylum claim rejected in 2014.

He had also converted from Islam to Christianity and had mental health issues, Sky News understands.

What do we know about al Swealmeen?

Al Swealmeen has been reported to be a Jordanian national who had spent some time in Iraq, where his mother was from.

An unnamed source quoted by The Sun said one issue being explored is whether the suspected attacker was motivated by an “unresolved grievance” with the Home Office over a bid to become a UK resident in 2014.

Malcolm Hitchcott, who with his wife Elizabeth had taken in al Swealmeen to their home, said he had first come to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity.

He told The Sun: “He was destitute at that time and we took him in.

“The UK asylum people were never convinced he was Syrian and he was refused asylum in 2014.

“He had his case rejected because he has been sectioned due to some mental health incident where he was waving a knife at people from an overpass.”

Al Swealmeen died after a homemade bomb exploded in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday.

How has al Swealmeen been described?

The couple described al Swealmeen as artistic and a motor racing fan.

He was reported to have changed his name to Enzo after the racing driver Enzo Ferrari.

Mrs Hitchcott said the couple were “very” shocked by the news.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: “We’re just so, so sad. We just loved him, he was a lovely guy.”

Why did the attack happen?

A motive has not yet become clear but the bomb blast has been declared a terrorist attack.

MI5 is assisting police with the investigation.

Four men were arrested under terrorism laws in the Kensington area of Liverpool but have now been released from police custody after they were interviewed.

In an update on Monday evening, Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, from Counter Terrorism Police North West, said “significant progress” had been made though there was a “considerable way to go” in understanding how the attack was planned and prepared for, and how it happened.

“Following interviews with the arrested men, we are satisfied with the accounts they have provided and they have been released from police custody,” he added.

Who was the taxi driver?

The taxi driver, named locally as David Perry, survived the blast on Sunday. He has since been discharged from hospital.

His wife Rachel said it was “an utter miracle” and he is “lucky to be alive”.

In a Facebook post, she said her husband was “extremely sore and just trying to process what’s happened”.

“The explosion happened whilst he was in the car and how he managed to escape is an utter miracle,” she wrote.

“He certainly had some guardian angels looking after him.”

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