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Police suspect others were involved in Manchester Arena attack – and may make further arrests

From the Manchester Evening News

Police want to interview the younger brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber over the attack – as they reveal how attacker Salman Abedi wandered around Manchester for hours with his nail bomb primed to explode.

Detectives in the UK are now locked in talks to speak to Abedi’s younger brother Hashem, who was detained in Tripoli shortly after the May 22 attack and remains in custody in Libya. Senior officers say they are extremely keen to bring Hashem Abedi back to the UK for questioning and detailed talks with authorities in the Middle East are now under way.

In a briefing for journalists today, Det Supt Russ Jackson, head of North West Counter Terrorism Unit, also revealed that Abedi had walked around Manchester city centre for several hours with his nail bomb primed to explode before detonating inside the foyer of the Arena.

GMP also confirmed that in the months before the attack Abedi visited Abdalraouf Abdullah, at Altcourse prison in Liverpool. Abdullah, a Libyan refugee, from Moss Side, Manchester, is currently serving a five year and six months sentence after being found guilty last year of assisting others in preparation, commission or assisting acts of terrorism and funding terrorism. Police now do not believe Abedi was part of a network of terrorists but said they expected others were involved and anticipated making further arrests. 

Mr Jackson said: “He did visit him and that forms part of our investigation…We do believe that there are other people potentially involved in this. We do not believe this is part of a large network. We do however believe that further arrests are possible…” He said the investigation had concentrated on CCTV phone evidence and financial transactions, and witness interviews.