Dan Wootton: Liverpool bomber Emad Al Swealmeen shows our country’s asylum system is broken
I'm alarmed the mainstream media want to look away from this issue because the conversations will just be too difficult.
The shocking case of the Liverpool bomber Emad Al Swealmeen shows our country’s asylum system is broken.
The 32-year-old terrorist – who came disturbingly close to killing hundreds at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital or the Liverpool Cathedral on Sunday – had been in the country for seven years until his death because he had appealed his failed asylum claim.
During his time here, he was arrested for waving a large knife in public in Liverpool, but then changed his name to Enzo Almeni and converted to Christianity in what seems like an obvious bid to trick the authorities.
The alarm bells should have been ringing from the moment he claimed he had entered the country from Syria when, in fact, officials believe he had come from Jordan.
By the time he tried to inflict maximum damage to innocent Brits on Sunday, he had set up a bomb factory in rented accommodation, believed to be paid for by his job as a pizza chef and in a cake shop, despite the fact he was meant to be living at a hostel for asylum seekers.
But as former 7/7 counter-terror detective at Scotland Yard David Videcette: said today: “There's now a dispute about who exactly Emad Al Swealmeen really was, and where he actually came from. This is always a problem with asylum applicants who destroy their documents before arrival. I know one thing: He didn't learn how to make bombs while working in cake shops.”
Al Swealmeen remained in the country because he was able to appeal his deportation, a process that can keep you in Britain for years.
And he’s not the only one.
Official Home Office figures revealed today by the MailOnline show there were a record low 8,000 deportations of failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals last year.
That compares to 47,000 who were forced to leave the country in 2013.
There are currently 125,000 asylum cases outstanding in Britain, according to UK border figures, with 5,900 awaiting the outcome of lengthy appeals and a further 39,500 waiting to be deported.
The government says we should be “alert but not alarmed” after Sunday’s failed attack.
But I’m sorry, I am alarmed.
Alarmed that our legal system allowed Al Swealmeen to stay in the country and plot a potentially unimaginable attack.
Alarmed that nearly 1,000 illegal migrants are continuing to enter the country via the Channel from France on a daily basis, many of whom could already be operating as part of terrorist cells.
And alarmed that the government and mainstream broadcast media want to look away from this issue because the conversations will just be too difficult.