Posted on Jan 24, 2022
New details have emerged about Iraqi bomber Emad Al Swealmeen's failed asylum attempts, and the litany of false information he presented to make his cases.
The BBC has reported on a previously confidential 2015 asylum judgment which reveals how his claim of being a Syrian refugee lacked basic facts about his home and the danger he faced.
He lost that case but the Home Office failed to remove him before he tried again under a new name. As part of his new claim, officials would have been expected to take his fingerprints, so they could verify he had not claimed before.
It is not clear whether officials spotted his second application from checking his fingerprint records, or indeed if Al Swealmeen's fingerprints were indeed taken.
The papers raise further questions about why he was not removed from the UK before his aborted attack on a Liverpool Remembrance service which ended with his bomb exploding outside a Women's Hospital.
The driver escaped seconds before the vehicle was engulfed in flames and was taken to hospital, but did not suffer life-threatening injuries. Nobody else was hurt.
The fresh details about Al Swealmeen's asylum claim are in the 2015 judgment from the tribunal that rules on appeals against Home Office immigration decisions, which shows how he told obvious lies in an attempt to stay in the UK.
According to the documents, released after legal representations from BBC News, Al Swealmeen arrived in the UK on 30 April 2014 and claimed asylum six days later.
He claimed to be fleeing from his native Syria, which was then in the grip of a worsening civil war, which was completely untrue. An expert in Arabic also analysed Al Swealmeen's speech and concluded he was almost certainly Iraqi.
"His account of his time in Syria gives the impression of someone quoting information that is in the public domain rather than having first-hand experience," ruled the judge.
"The appellant did not identify himself with any particular faction or indicate that he would be at risk other than in a general sense.
"In view of all of the evidence, I reject his account of events in Syria and his fears on his return in their entirety and dismiss his asylum appeal."
That conclusion meant the Home Office had the green light to send Al Swealmeen back to Iraq or Jordan, as it had previously warned him it would do.
Al Swealmeen was housed in Liverpool while he waited for a decision - which came in a rejection letter in November 2014.
He then appealed - but did not attend the 2015 hearing in Manchester.
He had been detained under the Mental Health Act, after he had been found waving a knife at people in a Liverpool underpass.
During 2015 and the years that followed, the government was forcibly sending some people back to both countries - but Emad Al Swealmeen was not one of them.
The Home Office has declined to comment on the specific circumstances of Emad Al Swealmeen's case but said it was "fixing the broken asylum system" in its current legislation.
"The new plan for immigration will require people to raise all protection-related issues up front, to tackle the practice of making multiple and sequential claims and enable the removal of those with no right to be in our country more quickly," said a spokesman.
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