Manchester suicide bomber used student loan and benefits to fund terror plot

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From The Telegraph

The Manchester suicide bomber used taxpayer-funded student loans and benefits to bankroll the terror plot, police believe.

Salman Abedi is understood to have received thousands of pounds in state funding in the run up to Monday’s atrocity even while he was overseas receiving bomb-making training.

Police are investigating Abedi’s finances, including how he paid for frequent trips to Libya where he is thought to have been taught to make bombs at a jihadist training camp.

It comes as Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, said detectives had made “immense progress” in dismantling Abedi’s terror network.

In further developments, a barber shop in Manchester was raided with one theory that Abedi may have obtained hydrogen peroxide – a chemical used in the hairdressing industry but which can also be used to construct bombs – from the salon.

Abedi’s finances are a major ‘theme’ of the police inquiry amid growing alarm over the ease with which jihadists are able to manipulate Britain’s welfare and student loans system to secure financing. One former detective said jihadists were enrolling on university courses to collect the student loans “often with no intention of turning up”. Abedi was given at least £7,000 from the taxpayer-funded Student Loans Company after beginning a business administration degree at Salford University in October 2015.

It is thought he received a further £7,000 in the 2016 academic year even though by then he had already dropped out of the course. Salford University declined to say if it had informed the Student Loans Company that Abedi’s funding should have been stopped.

Separately, the Department for Work and Pensions refused to say if Abedi had received any benefits,

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