Tuesday, 19 October 2021
Manchester Arena bomber's brother 'flees UK' after being summoned to give evidence at inquiry

The elder brother (Ismail Abedi) of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi has left the UK ahead of an appearance at a public inquiry into the terror attack. 

The bomber's childhood friend was arrested on Monday trying to leave the country, the inquiry has heard.

Both Ismail Abedi and Ahmed Taghdi had been given court orders warning them to attend the inquiry this week to answer questions about the radicalisation of the bomber who carried out the May 22, 2017 attack.

Paul Greaney QC, addressing chairman of the inquiry Sir John Saunders, said Ismail Abedi had refused to co-operate with the inquiry but was ordered to attend on Thursday.

However, he is no longer in the country and there is "no indication" when he will return. Ismail Abedi and the bomber's parents are both believed to be in Libya and are also not co-operating with the inquiry.Mr Greaney said: "As he surely must understand, if he does not do so, the public may infer that he has something to hide and, so Sir, may you."

Ahmed Taghdi was told on Friday if he did not attend the inquiry this week he would be arrested due to a further High Court order. He attempted to leave the country on Monday and, as a result, was arrested.

Last October, the BBC tracked the suicide bomber's eldest brother down and asked him why he was refusing to engage with the inquiry. He refused to answer any questions. 

Ahmed Taghdi, 29, accompanied Salman Abedi on a visit to jailed terrorist Abdalraouf Abdallah, who experts believe "groomed" the bomber, and Ismail Abedi was found to have "Islamic State" propaganda material on his phone. 

Both were arrested after the bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 bystanders and injured hundreds of others. Neither man was charged with any offence and both were told they have the right not to answer any questions that may incriminate them at the public inquiry, sitting in Manchester.

Taghdi was told on Friday that if he did not attend the inquiry this week he would be arrested due to a High Court order. He attempted to leave the country on Monday and as a result was arrested and is now in custody.

He is now due to give evidence on Thursday, while Abdallah, currently in custody, is due to give evidence on Wednesday, both in person. The inquiry has been told that both are key witnesses as the hearings turn to why and how Salman Abedi and his younger brother and fellow bomb-plotter, Hashem, became radicalised. Because they are going to tell the infidel the truth, of course. Actually they just might, but it would be a warping of the true religion of peace if they did. Ahem!

The inquiry will also hear evidence about what was known about Salman Abedi by the security services and police, his education background, and evidence about Didsbury Mosque in Manchester, which the Abedi family attended. Opening can of worms...stand ready. 

The public inquiry, sitting in Manchester, continues.

Posted on 10/19/2021 12:51 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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