The Liverpool hospital bomber spent seven months experimenting with different explosives while preparing for his attack, it emerged last night.
Emad Al Swealmeen, 32, started building a bomb factory in a rented studio as early as April, police said.
Traces detected on the property show he purchased a range of chemicals capable of making more than one type of explosive, including one used by London’s 7/7 bombers.
Detectives are trying to unravel a “complex picture” of chemical purchases made both online and in stores.
Armed police raided the bomb factory in Liverpool’s Sefton Park district shortly after Al Swealmeen accidentally blew himself up at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday.
The next day, demining officers carried out a controlled explosion in the park and Rutland Avenue, where the explosives factory was located, remains closed.
Officers also laid a cordon around Sutcliffe Street in Kensington, central Liverpool, where Al Swealmeen is believed to have lived, yesterday afternoon.
Emad Al Swealmeen, (pictured) 32, started building a bomb factory in a rented studio as early as April, police say
Detectives are trying to unravel a “complex picture” of chemical purchases made both online and in stores. Pictured: Forensic workers at work at Liverpool Women’s Hospital
Security sources said there was not much to suggest the Christian convert (pictured, left) was ideologically motivated – one theory is that he suffered a mental health crisis possibly be triggered by failure to obtain asylum
Bomb squad agents were at the scene and a spokesperson for the counterterrorism police said several suspicious packages were found.
Residents have been ordered to stay indoors and others have been banned from returning to their homes. Instead, they were directed to a nearby elementary school for shelter.
Forensic testing is still ongoing on the exploded taxi with Al Swealmeen inside. It was confirmed last night that he died from injuries sustained in the explosion and the fire that followed.
A delivery driver told yesterday how he saw the bomb go off. “I just heard that explosion – that loud bang,” recalls 21-year-old Liam Spencer.
“At first I thought it could be a car accident. Then I saw that the car had exploded. I saw the driver who was in pretty bad shape.
“I ran back to check and that’s when I saw the man. He was on fire. That’s when I ran to get a fire extinguisher and security pulled one out.
Giving an update last night, Deputy Police Chief Russ Jackson said Iraqi-born Al Swealmeen started buying chemicals in April, if not earlier.
This is the moment the taxi carrying the suicide bomber exploded outside a Liverpool hospital in what police and MI5 are now probing as a Poppy Day terror attack
Aerial view of the aftermath of the explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and the burnt out taxi cab
“A complex picture emerges when it comes to device component purchases,” Jackson said.
“We know that Al Swealmeen has rented the property from April of this year and we believe that relevant purchases have been made at least since then.
“He also confirmed that the suicide bomber suffered from a mental illness which will be part of the investigation.
Security sources said there was not much to suggest the Christian convert was ideologically motivated – one theory is that he suffered a mental health crisis possibly triggered by his failure to obtain asylum.
He was severed in 2015 after being arrested for wielding a large knife and threatening to kill himself by jumping off a bridge in Liverpool city center.
Al Swealmeen, who wanted to be a pizza maker, also spoke to church leaders about his depression.
A trader told the Mail he was “clearly wrong in his head” and described how the racing fan, who adopted the name Enzo Almeni after the Ferrari legend, threatened with a knife one of its employees staying at the same hostel.
“He appeared to have had mental health issues for several years,” the man added.