Bomb squad swoop and pub evacuated as they search asylum hostel linked to Liverpool bomber

POLICE have swooped on a pub linked to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital bombing – as they probe an asylum hostel nearby. 

The bomb squad sealed off an address linked to terrorist Emad Al-Swealmeen, on Sutcliffe Street before extending it to Boaler Street in the city this afternoon. 

A number of police vans and emergency services remain on the scene onSutcliffe Street, where a cordon is still in place. 

Residents have reportedly been told by officers that they are not allowed into their properties.

One resident said: "I came home from work at about 1.20pm and saw the road was closed off. We think they've found something."

A bomb disposal squad was spotted going into a house on Sutcliffe Street in Kensington.

Officers traced Al Swealmeen to an asylum hostel – a converted terrace – on the road close to a pub that was already probed.

A spokesman for Counter Terrorism Police said: "This is a routine extension of the cordon to allow officers to make an assessment of materials found in a property on Boaler Street. It is related to the terror incident."

Officers previously sealed off the same area after counter-terror police arrested three suspects there in connection with the terror attack.

Properties in Sutcliffe Street and Rutland Avenue, near Sefton Park, were raided with cops arresting four men on suspicion of terror offences.

They were released without charge yesterday as police confirmed they had cooperated with the investigation.

The development comes after cops revealed that the bomber had been buying components since at least April this year. 

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said that Iraq-born Al Swealmeen had rented a property in Liverpool seven months ago and had started making "relevant purchases" for his homemade bomb "at least" since that time.

A Royal Logistics Corp bomb disposal vehicle arrived at Boaler Street along with a fire engine after a police cordon in nearby Sutcliffe Street – where officers believe Al Swealmeen previously lived.

Police said this was to "allow officers to make an assessment of materials found in a property that we've been searching", adding that it was a "precaution"

Searches have also been carried out at a property in Rutland Avenue that had been rented by Al Swealmeen since April.

In an update issued earlier today, Mr Jackson said: "A complex picture is emerging over the purchases of the component parts of the device.

"We know that Al Swealmeen rented the property from April this year and we believe relevant purchases have been made at least since that time.

"We have now traced a next of kin for Al Swealmeen who has informed us that he was born in Iraq."

He added that the 32-year-old asylum seeker had suffered from periods of mental illness that will "form part of the investigation and will take some time to fully understand".

Last night Home Office minister Damian Hinds said it was not clear if the hospital was the intended target before Al Swealmeen, 32, blew himself up in a taxi.

He added counter-terror chiefs do not believe he was part of a "Liverpool cell" and cops are not looking for anyone else at this stage.

However it is understood it will take security forces some weeks to build a full picture of who he may have been in contact with amid fears he was manipulated online.

One friend who knew Al Swealmeen through his job at a pizza takeaway, said he "nearly fell off his chair" when he found out the bomber was his former colleague.


Al Swealmeen – who The Sun understands was a Jordanian national – moved to the UK in 2014 and told people he was Syrian.

After his asylum claim was rejected he is said to have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act for brandishing a knife near Liverpool's city centre.

Friends claimed the F1 fan changed his name to Enzo Almeni in honour of Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari – hoping it would seem more Western and help his bid to stay.

In 2017 he converted to Christianity at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, and the same year he lost his final asylum appeal, but was not deported.

The bomber went on to spend eight months living with devoted Christians Malcolm and Elizabeth Hitchott and appeared the perfect guest.

They said they felt "numbed" to learn that the "lovely man" who lived at their home was behind the horror attack.

Mr Hitchocott, a former British Army soldier, told the Daily Mail: "It's almost too impossible to believe.

"There was nothing to suggest he could go on to become radicalised."

Senior MPs vowed to launch a ­formal probe into fake Christian converts duping the Church of England to avoid being deported back to strict Muslim countries.

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