Liverpool hospital bomber ‘died from device made with murderous intent’

Liverpool hospital bomber ‘died from device made with murderous intent’
AThe Liverpool hospital bomber died from the explosion and fire caused by an improvised device he had made with “murderous intent”, an inquest has ruled.

AThe Liverpool hospital bomber died from the explosion and fire caused by an improvised device he had made with “murderous intent”, an inquest has ruled.

It was unclear whether Emad Al Swealmeen intended for the bomb – which exploded while he was in a taxi outside the hospital – to detonate when it did, a coroner said.

The blast took place on Remembrance Sunday, killing the 32-year-old and injuring taxi driver David Perry.

An inquest concluded Swealmeen died in the vehicle outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on 14 November.

Concluding the inquest on Thursday, senior coroner Andre Rebello: “He died from an explosion and subsequent fire caused by an improvised explosive device which he had carried into the taxi.

“It is found he manufactured the improvised explosive device, designed to project shrapnel, with murderous intent.”

The coroner said Swealmeen was the only fatal victim but the explosion had affected lives of innocent people.

“One thing that struck me was this lone actor from a disrupted family, with a bit of a chaotic background, could well have killed many, many innocent people and there doesn’t appear to have been any opportunity to have detected this was about to happen,” he said.

Swealmeen was not on the radar of security services, Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks from Counter Terror Policing North West said.

“It is something that has been planned over many, many months,” the coroner said about the attack on Thursday.

“Clearly, from what he said to the family, he had something in mind and yet this was hidden from everybody.”

The inquest heard the 32-year-old phoned his brother two days before the explosion and asked what he would think if he did “something bad”.

Liverpool and Wirral Coroner’s Court was also told how the event unfurled, including how the taxi driver was in the vehicle when the device exploded and managed to get out.

Mr Rebello said Mr Perry had picked up the passenger from Rutland Avenue – where Swealmeen rented a flat where he made the device – and described the journey to the hospital as “non-eventual”.

The coronor said he “would not have remembered anything” about the trip, had it not have been for the blast.

“David described pressing on the brakes, coming to a slow stop. As the vehicle stopped, suddenly it felt like a wagon had crashed into the back of the car and he said he was thrown forwards and blacked out for a couple of seconds,” Mr Rebello said.

The coroner said when Mr Perry became conscious again he felt burning to his back.

“He could see smoke and smell burning plastic and the smell of burning body and thought ‘I’m dead if I don’t get out’,” Mr Rebello said.

He described how Mr Perry pushed the door without taking off his seatbelt, and forced his way out the car. “He didn’t know if the passenger was still in there, he didn’t turn round to look at him.”

Mr Perry staggered out the car and was approached by a man wearing a high-vis jacket, the inquest heard.

Mr Rebello said: “He recalls saying to him ‘the bastard tried to bomb me’.”

The taxi driver said following the attack – which took place just before 11am on Remembrance Sunday – that it was a “miracle” he survived and was grateful no others were injured.

Following the inquest’s ruling on Thursday, Counter Terror Policing North West said: “Merseyside Police and Counter Terrorism Policing North West have continued to work together to support the coronial process following the incident.”

Its statement added: “The police investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Al Swealmeen’s death continues.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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