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Taxi explosion – is he the Liverpool taxi bomber?

After the failed terrorist attack in Liverpool, the city is still in shock: an assassin blew himself up in front of a women’s hospital on Sunday morning. The fact that there was no bloodbath with many dead is thanks to taxi driver Dave Perry (43), to whom the man’s behavior appeared suspicious: Perry jumped out of his car, unceremoniously locked the perpetrator in the taxi, just seconds before the explosion .

Now it turns out: According to the English newspaper, it should be the terrorist „Sun“ the Jordanian Emad Jamil Al-Swealmeen (32). According to the AFP news agency, the police have now officially confirmed him as a taxi passenger and mastermind behind the attack.

According to Perry, the passenger was acting strangely and there was a light on his clothing that he was handling. The taxi driver reacted quickly, stopped near the main entrance of the building, jumped out of his car – and bolted it.

Just in time before the bomb went off and killed the terrorist. Perry himself was wounded by shrapnel and was hospitalized with burns and ruptured eardrums, a friend later reported.

He is celebrated as a hero and lifesaver. Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised Perry for averting an atrocity with “incredible presence of mind and bravery”.

Did Al-Swealmeen want to blow himself up because his asylum application had been rejected over and over again? He is said to have built the bomb, which was filled with steel balls, in his apartment.

Attack on Memorial Day

Al-Swealmeen wanted to kill people on Remembrance Day, also known as “Poppy Day”, on Remembrance Day, of all things: He got into Dave Perry’s private taxi shortly before 11 a.m. (local time).

It is assumed that the passenger made the improvised explosive device himself, said a police spokesman. It is still unclear why he brought it to the clinic and why the bomb exploded so suddenly.

The police did not want to confirm speculations that the target of an attempted attack might have been a memorial service for those killed on Remembrance Sunday. One is aware of the spatial and temporal proximity to the memorial ceremonies, but one cannot yet establish a connection, said the police spokesman. In this direction, however, among other things, will also be determined.

Who is the alleged assassin?

When exactly Emad Jamil Al-Swealmeen entered the UK is unclear. However, he is said to have sought recognition of asylum for years, but several applications and permanent residence in the country were rejected.

In order to sound less “Muslim”, the Ferrari fan changed his first name to Enzo, after the company’s founder. According to information from the “Sun” he was Jordanian, but claimed that he came from Syria. He had spent much of his life in Iraq, where his mother was from.

After Emad Jamil Al-Swealmeen threatened passers-by with a knife in 2014, his asylum application was rejected. The married couple Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchott took him into their home in Liverpool for several months.

“Then he wanted to apply for asylum again and live in his own apartment. He never spoke about Islam or terrorism, ”says Malcom Hitchott. The former soldier is stunned: “He was a very friendly man, nothing indicated that he could have become radicalized.”

Motive still unclear

Al-Swealmeen is said to have stayed afloat with jobs, including as a delivery driver: “I sometimes saw him on his bike, but we never spoke. And I’ve never seen him with other people, ”says neighbor Golam Shawom (31) of the“ Sun ”.

The 32-year-old remained inconspicuous and was not known to the authorities with regard to terrorist intentions. He is said to have made the bomb himself at home in his apartment. When he lit it in the taxi, it should not have exploded with full force. The motive for the act is still unclear.

Also close to the clinic is Liverpool Cathedral, where around 2,000 people gathered for a memorial service. “We can’t make a connection with it at the moment, but there is a lead that we are investigating,” said Russ Jackson of the counterterrorism police.

Four arrests

As recently as Sunday, three men – 21, 26 and 29 years old – were arrested in a residential building on Rutland Avenue. It is only around three kilometers from Al-Swealmeen’s accommodation. A fourth suspect was arrested on Monday morning – everyone is said to have had contact with the alleged assassin.

“Significant items” are also said to have been found at the address on Rutland Avenue, said investigator Russ Jackson. There the passenger should also have got into the taxi.

In the meantime, the four men are at large again, the investigation, which according to “The Guardian” and the BBC is supported by the domestic intelligence service MI5, continues. Interior Minister Priti Patel announced that the terrorist threat was downgraded from “significant” to “serious” on Monday.

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