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Liverpool Women’s Hospital explosion: Man killed named as Emad Al Swealmeen

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The man killed in an explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital has been named by police as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen.

He was a passenger in a taxi when his homemade bomb exploded shortly before 11:00 GMT on Remembrance Sunday.

The driver David Perry escaped before the car caught fire and has since been discharged from hospital.

The UK terror threat level has been raised to “severe” and four men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act.

Officers believe Al Swealmeen lived at a house in Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool, where counter-terrorism police officers carried out raids earlier.

Police said he had recently rented an address in Rutland Avenue, near Sefton Park in the city, which has also been searched by officers.

Our focus is the Rutland Avenue address where we have continued to recover significant items,” said Det Ch Insp Andrew Meeks, from Counter Terrorism Police North West.

“Any information that the public may have about Al Swealmeen no matter how small may be of great assistance to us.”

Al Swealmeen is believed to have manufactured and brought the device into the taxi.

Police said he was picked up from the Rutland Avenue area and asked to be taken to the hospital, about 10 minutes away, before the bomb exploded.

He is not believed to have been known to MI5, according to BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera.

On Sunday, three men – aged 21, 26 and 29 – were arrested under the Terrorism Act after being detained in Kensington.

A fourth man, aged 20, was also arrested in the same area of Liverpool under the Terrorism Act earlier.

People detained under the Terrorism Act can be held without charge for up to 14 days.

Police said the arrested men were believed to be “associates” of Al Swealmeen.

The rise in the threat level is not based on specific intelligence of an ongoing threat in Liverpool.

Rather it is based on an overall assessment by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.

They have looked at the fact that there have been two incidents in the last month – the killing of Sir David Amess MP and now Liverpool – and judged that the overall picture has changed.

It is not totally clear what the cause is – some speculate about people being inspired by international events, others wonder if it is to do with people emerging out of lockdown after having been radicalised online.

Earlier, police said Mr Perry had been released from hospital after being treated for his injuries.

Posting on Facebook, the taxi driver’s wife Rachel said he was “lucky to be alive”.

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

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the terror threat level had been raised from “substantial” to “severe”, meaning an attack is “highly likely”, because the explosion in Liverpool was the second incident in a month.

The death of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who was stabbed multiple times during a meeting with his constituents in Essex on 15 October, has been treated as a terrorist incident by police.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, one of Counter Terrorism Policing’s senior national co-ordinators, said the change was a “precautionary measure and not based on any specific threat”, adding that the public “should not be alarmed by this change”.

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