Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people in an attack during a concert in Manchester, was a business student who dropped out of university. According to reports, Abedi is believed to have gone to Syria, where he got radicalised before returning to the UK to launch a terror attack.
Born to a devoutly Muslim Libyan family in Britain, Abedi was known to the security services and according to a report in the Financial Times, he had turned to radical Islam in recent years.
Here’s everything we know about the 22-year-old Manchester Arena attacker:
- Abedi was born in the UK to Libyan parents on New Year’s Eve in 1994 and was the second of four children. His parents had fled Libya for the UK because they opposed the brutal rule of Muammar Qaddafi.
- During his university days, instead of attending classes, Salman Abedi started traveling more frequently to Libya, which has been mired in conflict since the Libyan civil war began in February 2011. The Libya situation has allowed terror groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda to establish a foothold and train terrorists.
- Following the Manchester attack, Abedi’s family members have been arrested — his two brothers and father — in connection to the attack.
Video Courtesy: YouTube/ The Telegraph
- Some reports suggest that Abedi’s younger brother – Hashem told Libyan authorities that he was an ISIS member, after they had arrested him. Hashem is believed to have planned to stage an attack in Libya.
- Jamona Abedi, sister of Salman Abedi, has said that her brother “launched his suicide attack out of a love of Islam and in twisted revenge for US airstrikes on Syria”.
- Abedi became increasingly violent over the course of the past year, convinced that Muslims were under attack both in the UK and abroad.
Video Courtesy: YouTube/ BBC Newsnight
- According to media reports, friends of Salman Abedi have described him as a typical teenager who supported Manchester United and enjoyed parties, drinking and smoking cannabis.
- Intelligence officials believe Abedi may have been the “mule” for the bomb, the BBC reports. It means that someone else made the device, but Abedi carried it all the way to the detonation point. He was just the delivery system.
- According to US media reports the bomber was identified by a bank card in his pocket. Citing a US intelligence official, NBC news reported that members of Abedi’s family had warned security officials about him in the past, saying that he was “dangerous”.