Liverpool suicide bomber was confirmed in 2017

Sunday's bomber has been named as Emad al-Swealmeen.(Photo: Malcolm Hitchcott/Facebook)

The suspected terrorist who blew himself up outside a Liverpool hospital on Remembrance Sunday was confirmed as a Christian in 2017, according to media reports.

Emad al-Swealmeen, 32, blew himself up inside a taxi outside Liverpool Women's Hospital just before 11am in what has been declared a terrorist incident.

It is believed that al-Swealman, who also went by the name Enzo Almeni, had been on his way to Liverpool Cathedral but asked the taxi driver to take him to the hospital instead because the roads were blocked off for a Remembrance Sunday parade. 

The Telegraph reports that al-Swealmeen came to the UK from Iraq as an asylum seeker and was confirmed by the Rt Rev Cyril Ashton at Liverpool Cathedral in 2017.

The Times reports that he spent time at the cathedral after being released from a psychiatric hospital where he had been treated for mental health problems. 

Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Hitchcott, 77, a Capital of Culture events co-ordinator at the cathedral, was helping to run Bible classes for asylum seekers.

He says he first encountered al-Swealmeen in 2015 when he expressed an interest in Christianity. 

Al-Swealmeen then took an Alpha course on the Christian faith prior to his 2017 confirmation. 

Hitchcott and his wife also allowed al-Swealmeen to stay in their home for eight months when temporary accommodation provided by the Home Office expired. 

He told the newspaper that he and his wife were "shocked" by the discovery that al-Swealmeen was behind Sunday's bombing.

"A less likely candidate I couldn't imagine. He was well mannered and quiet," he said. 

His wife, Elizabeth, added: "We loved him."