‘A murderer was living across the road’: Neighbour of Liverpool bomber speaks out

18 November 2021, 07:46 | Updated: 18 November 2021, 10:46

By Megan Hinton

The neighbour of the Liverpool bomber has said it is "shocking" to know "a murderer was living over the road" after police named the man as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen.

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Speaking exclusively to LBC, Gina Czarnecki described what it has been like living on a street that has been locked down by Counter Terror Police.

Rutland Avenue, where Al Swealmeen lived in a rented property, has been cordoned off by police investigating the explosion of a taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

The incident, which happened shortly before 11am on Remembrance Sunday, has since been declared as a terror incident by police.

Ms Czarnecki, who lived opposite Al Swealmeen on Rutland Avenue, told LBC: "People weren't allowed in after 12 into the street.

"A girl was taken back to her house, a 16 year old, with her hands up and a gun pointed to her, and they were shouting at people to not come out of their houses and stay inside."

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Speaking about the moment she found out what had happened, Ms Czarnecki added: "He hasn't been in here that long so I haven't really got to speak to him but it was a surprise.

"To deliberately harm and endanger other peoples lives, even if it is one taxi driver, I mean it's murder, isn't it.

"It's a murderer living over the road, whether they murder themselves first is irrelevant.

“It's someone with that disregard to other human lives.

"You don't know what happens behind closed doors do you."

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Reflecting on Al Swealmeen’s time living on the street, Ms Czarnecki said she had "hardly" seen or spoken to him which left her feeling like "a bad neighbour".

She added: "My imagination does worse than facts a lot of the time."

Police say Al Swealmeen, who was born in Iraq and died in the terror attack, had been buying parts for his homemade device for the last seven months.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West, said on Wednesday: "The post mortem on the deceased has taken place and the cause of death has been described as injuries sustained from the fire and explosion.

"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.

"Our enquiries have found that Al Swealmeen has had episodes of mental illness, this will form part of the investigation and will take some time to fully understand."