The bomber – Salman Abedi: A quiet university dropout whose father left Britain to run terrorist network in Libya

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One wonders why they were allowed to remain in the country. They were hardly at risk from the regime in Libya they made so many visits to and fro. From the Telegraph

The Manchester Arena suicide bomber had made trips to Libya as intelligence agencies combed his connections with al-Qaeda and Islamic State in his parents’ homeland.

Salman Abedi, 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.

A school friend told The Times: “He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.

Abedi born in Manchester and grew up in tight-knit Libyan community that was known for its strong opposition to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. He had become radicalised recently – it is not entirely clear when – and had worshipped at a local mosque that has, in the past, been accused of fundraising for jihadists.

Abedi’s older brother Ismail had been a tutor at Didsbury mosque’s Koran school. The imam last night said that Salman Abedi, who wore Islamic dress, had shown him “the face of hate” when he gave a talk warning on the dangers of so-called Islamic State.

His mother, Samia Tabbal, 50, and father, Ramadan Abedi, a security officer, were both born in Tripoli but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Whalley Range area of south Manchester where they had lived for at least a decade.

Abedi went to school locally and then on to Salford University in 2014 where he studied business management before dropping out. His trips to Libya, where it is thought his parents returned in 2011 following Gaddafi’s overthrow, are now subject to scrutiny including links to jihadists.

A group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), lived within close proximity to Abedi in Whalley Range.

Among them was Abd al-Baset Azzouz, a father-of-four from Manchester, who left Britain to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of al-Qaeda. Azzouz, 48, an expert bomb-maker, was accused of running an al-Qaeda network in eastern Libya. The Telegraph reported in 2014 that Azzouz had 200 to 300 militants under his control and was an expert in bomb-making.

Another member of the Libyan community in Manchester, Salah Aboaoba told Channel 4 news in 2011 that he had been fund raising for LIFG while in the city. Aboaoba had claimed he had raised funds at Didsbury mosque, the same mosque attended by Abedi. The mosque at the time vehemently denied the claim. “This is the first time I’ve heard of the LIFG. I do not know Salah,” a mosque spokesman said at the time. 

At the mosque, Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, the imam at the Didsbury mosque yesterday branded Abedi an dangerous extremist. And you reported him under the Prevent programme when?

Salman visited the mosque on a number of occasions to pray, but the imam insisted “he was not my friend, he is not close…” 

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