'He wasn't well at all': Man 'pretty sure' to have met Liverpool bomber speaks to LBC

17 November 2021, 19:29

Reza is 'pretty sure' he met Emad Al Swealmeen around five years ago.
Reza is 'pretty sure' he met Emad Al Swealmeen around five years ago. Picture: LBC/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

A man who is "pretty sure" he met the Liverpool bomber has told LBC "he was not well at all".

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His exchange with Shelagh Fogarty comes after it was revealed that Emad Al Swealmeen had converted from Islam to Christianity and was confirmed in Liverpool Cathedral in around 2017.

Speaking to LBC, NHS worker Reza said: "I work with the people seeking asylum with mental health problems and I'm pretty sure I met [Al Swealmeen] at least on one occasion and spoke to him.

"In my opinion, he was not well at all at the time I met him and that was about five or six years ago.

"He told me that the police punched him in the face but, when I talked to him and advised him to go back to police to investigate it, he just didn’t want to take it further."

Reza also claimed to have told police that, as a "community person", he introduced Al Swealmeen to Sepas - a Persian congregation that he worked with, worshipping at Liverpool Cathedral.

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He also explained the moment he realised he knew Emad Al Swealmeen, following the terrorist attack.

"When you saw him - Emad Al Swealmeen - connected to this crime and twigged you'd come across him, what was your first thought?" Shelagh asked.

"I thought he must have been really, really frustrated with the system," Reza said.

"I really didn’t think it was anything linked to ISIS or any terrorist organisation - that was my view from very early on.

"We heard in Liverpool – I don’t live far from the Women's Hospital – everybody was saying 'oh this is what happened…'"

He added: "When I saw him, I turned to my wife [and] said 'I think I know this person, I’ve seen him before.'"