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Liverpool locals praised for ‘patience and understanding’ as terror attack investigations continue

Written by on November 21, 2021

People in Liverpool have been praised for “standing shoulder to shoulder” in the wake of the Remembrance Sunday attack.

One week on from the explosion outside the city’s women’s hospital, officials spoke of their gratitude for the “patience and understanding” from locals as investigations continue.

The public was also reminded they are the “eyes and ears” of the police in the fight against terror.

Joanna Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy and Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell on a walkabout in Liverpool after an explosion at the Liverpool Women's Hospital killed one person and injured another on Sunday. Suspected terrorist Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, died after the device exploded in a taxi shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday. Picture date: Tuesday November 16, 2021.
Image: People in Liverpool have been praised for their ‘patience and understanding’
Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy on a walkabout in Liverpool after an explosion at the Liverpool Women's Hospital killed one person and injured another on Sunday. Suspected terrorist Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, died after the device exploded in a taxi shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday. Picture date: Tuesday November 16, 2021.
Image: Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy on a walkabout in Liverpool

Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, died when the taxi he was a passenger in exploded outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital just before 11am on 14 November.

Taxi driver David Perry managed to escape with injuries.

The bomb used in the incident was a homemade explosive with ball bearings attached to it and police said it could have caused “significant injury or death”.

Tributes have been paid to the reaction of the public, as well as emergency responders and hospital staff, in an open letter from police and local political figures seven days after the blast.

More on Liverpool

Staff at the hospital were praised for delivering more than 150 babies in the last week, and locals thanked for bringing hot drinks to officers stationed outside the hospital, as well as messages of support and gifts for staff.

The letter, published on Sunday, is on behalf of Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, Mayor Joanne Anderson, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell, and Combined Authority Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

Liverpool Hospital explosion - Taxi driver David Perry
Image: Taxi driver David Perry escaped with injuries

It praised people for coming together “in the face of adversity”, adding: “The ultimate goal of terrorism is to create discord, distrust and fear in our communities, and whilst we know some people may be anxious and concerned we have seen people across Liverpool standing shoulder to shoulder.

“And that’s because Liverpool, which has a proud heritage as a multicultural city, and the wider Merseyside region always pull together at times like this and the pride of all our communities is there for all to see.

Forensic officers at Liverpool Women's Hospital after an explosion killed one person and injured another on Sunday. Suspected terrorist Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, died after the device exploded in a taxi shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday. Picture date: Tuesday November 16, 2021.
Image: Investigations continue

“This is an area defined by its friendliness, kindness, and spirit of togetherness and we are immensely grateful for the patience and understanding shown by residents (whilst police investigations continue) but not at all surprised.”

Police and security services are still thought to be working on the current understanding that the hospital was the intended target, but al Swealmeen’s motivation has not yet been established.

An asylum seeker who had converted to Christianity, al Swealmeen reportedly arrived in the UK from the Middle East in 2014 and had an application for asylum rejected the following year, but had a fresh appeal ongoing at the time of his death.

Al Swealmeen Sourced by Adam Parker
Image: Emad al Swealmeen, 32, died after the device exploded in a taxi

The letter continued: “We pull together in the face of hardship and tragedy. We support each other at times of difficulty. We stand together as one.

“We have seen it before, and we have seen it again this week.

“In the words of Liverpool Women’s Hospital: continue to ‘Be Kind’, but also ‘Be Vigilant’ and ‘Be Safe’.”


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