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16th Nov 2021

Liverpool attack suspect reported as a convert to Christianity

Charlie Herbert

Emad Al Swealmeen, convert to Christianity

The suspect has been named as Emad al Swealmeen.

The man who is suspected of the attack outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday was reportedly a convert to Christianity, according to the couple who took him in after he moved to the UK.

Police have named 32-year-old Emad al Swealman as the man they “strongly believe” to be the passenger who died when a taxi exploded shortly before 11am on Sunday. He is thought to been of Syrian and Iraqi heritage.

After moving to the UK from the Middle East, he converted to Christianity and was later taken in by Christian volunteers Malcolm and Elizabeth.

According to Mr Hitchcott, the 32-year-old changed his name by deed poll to Enzo Almeni, in honour of Enzo Ferrari, so that he sounded more western on his asylum application, which failed in 2014.

Mr Hitchcott told the Daily Mail: “He first came to the cathedral in August 2015 and wanted to convert to Christianity. He took an Alpha course, which explains the Christian faith, and completed it in November of that year.

“That enabled him to come to an informed decision and he changed from Islam to Christianity and was confirmed as a Christian by at least March 2017, just before he came to live with us. He was destitute at that time and we took him in.”

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Meanwhile Elizabeth Hitchcott told the BBC: “We’re just so, so sad. We just loved him, he was a lovely guy.”

She added that her and her husband were “very shocked” by the incident.

Police are searching an address on Rutland Avenue that Al Swealman had been renting, along with an address on Sutcliffe Street that police believed he lived at for “some time.”

In a statement, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Meeks said: “We continue to appeal for any information about this incident and now that we have released his name any information that the public may have about Al Swealmeen no matter how small may be of great assistance to us.”