Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

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Iraqi-Born Taxi Bomber Angry Over Asylum Rejection, Say UK Police

The explosion, which took place outside a Liverpool hospital in 2021, was declared a terrorist attack.

London:

An Iraqi-born man who detonated a bomb outside a UK hospital two years ago held a grievance against the British state for rejecting his asylum claim, police said Monday.

Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, was killed when he set off the homemade device in a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital in northwest England in November 2021.

No one else died in the botched attack, with the taxi driver managing to escape with minor injuries.

The explosion occurred shortly before events to honour military war dead on Remembrance Sunday and was quickly declared a terrorist incident by police.

A police investigation has concluded that there was no evidence that Swealmeen held extremist views.

“It seems most likely that Al Swealmeen’s grievance against the British state for failing to accept his asylum claim compounded his mental ill health which in turn fed that grievance and ultimately a combination of those factors led him to undertake the attack,” the police report said.

Detective Superintendent Andy Meeks, of the counter-terrorism unit for England’s northwest, said it was believed Swealmeen planned to detonate his bomb in the hospital, but that it likely exploded earlier than planned.

The explosion came a month after a British MP was stabbed to death as he met constituents in southeast England.

The two attacks prompted the government to raise the terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe” — the second-highest — meaning an attack was “highly likely”.

Swealmeen had previous convictions and had falsely claimed asylum as a Syrian refugee in the UK after arriving legally on a Jordanian passport.

His asylum claims had been refused and counter-terrorism police have suggested that Swealmeen may have converted to Christianity in the hope of strengthening his case to stay.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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