Liverpool Suicide Bomber Emad Al Swealmeen Reverted to Islam After Christian Conversion: Claim

Emad Al Swealmeen
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Liverpool terrorist bomber and alleged Christian convert Emad Al Swealmeen had reverted to Islam in the months before his attack outside of a hospital on Remembrance Sunday, according to claims made to a leading British newspaper.

Sources speaking to Britain’s newspaper of record, The Times, on Saturday claimed that investigators believed Al Swealmeen, a Middle Eastern migrant who had entered the UK illegally and twice had his asylum claim rejected, had been practising Islam in the months before the November 14th attack, despite many of those from the Liverpool Cathedral community claiming that he had become a committed Christian “sold on Jesus”.

Associates of the migrant man reportedly told investigators that Al Swealmeen had reverted to Islam, though regulars at local mosques and a Muslim community centre told the newspaper that they did not recognise the 32-year-old attending any of their venues.

Similar reports were made earlier in the week to other news outlets, with sources claiming to The Telegraph that Al Swealmeen, was seen attending mosque “all day every day” during Ramadan in April — the month which investigators believe the failed asylum seeker had begun planning his attack — and was allegedly seen praying with a Muslim in the week before the bombing.

Intelligence agencies and counterterrorism police are still looking for a motive for the bombing, declared a terror attack, outside of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital last Sunday moments before the 11 am remembrance service a the nearby Church of England cathedral.

However, a source told The Telegraph: “Methodology wise, this attack is entirely jihadist – but we have an open mind as to what precisely was motivating him. If he built a much more destructive device then the detonation looks accidental. It looks lucky.”

Both The Times and the i newspaper have reported the theory that Al Swealmeen was trying to atone for leaving Islam, with sources speaking to the i claiming that investigations are underway to determine whether he was groomed by Islamist extremists to commit an attack to atone for apostasy.

“One strong line of inquiry is whether this was actually an act of Islamic terrorism. Investigators are considering if fundamentalist[s] preyed on the bomber’s sense of guilt after converting to Christianity and that the only way he could seek forgiveness was to become a suicide bomber. It’s not the only line of inquiry by any means, but it is one that is being taken very seriously,” the source told the newspaper.

It is still not entirely clear the background of Al Swealmeen, with several media reports claiming he is of Syrian and Iraqi heritage, while the BBC refers to members of his ‘tribe’ in Jordan, telling the news outlet he was Jordanian but born in Iraq. His family then allegedly moved to the United Arab Emirates in 1996, and the young man had left for Syria 12 years ago before heading to Turkey.

He is then believed to have arrived in the UK, illegally, by some reports, in 2014 and lost his first claim for asylum, in which he claimed to be Syrian. He lost further appeals in 2015 and in August of that year he converted to Christianity. He was confirmed in the Church of England in 2017 before the church lost contact with him in 2018 or 2019. His second asylum claim was rejected in 2019 and his appeal made in January 2021 was still under review at the time of his death.

Al Swealmeen’s device exploded while he was in a taxi outside of the hospital, claiming only his life but causing the injury of driver David Perry, who managed to escape the vehicle in time. Counter-Terrorism Police North West is still exploring why the bomb went off when it did, entertaining the theory that the detonation was unintentional, and that the motion of the vehicle or its stopping prematurely triggered it.

Many, including those in Jordan and counter-terror police, have claimed Al Swealmeen had suffered from mental illness.

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