Manchester Bomber Used Government Benefits to Buy Bomb Parts

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Members of the public attend a candlelit vigil, to honour the victims of Monday evening's terror attack, at Albert Square on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. Monday's explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had just …
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The Manchester Arena bomber used government benefits provided to his mother to purchase bomb-making equipment, a jury heard at the Old Bailey in London.

In the trial of the Manchester bomber’s brother, Hashem Abedi, the court heard that the pair’s mother, Samia Abedi, was receiving over £2,000 a month in government benefits and that her bank card was used to purchase an industrial battery and other bomb-making equipment.

The welfare payments of about £550 per week continued to pour into Ms Abedi’s account until May 19th in 2017, just three days before the attack on the Manchester Arena that left 22 people dead, reports The Telegraph. The court also heard that the Islamist’s mother continued to receive the welfare payments even after she had left the United Kingdom for Libya.

Ms Abedi’s bank card was still in use in the UK following her departure, with cash withdrawals of £50, £250, and £300 regularly coming from the account. One of the purchases made with the card was a £300 200-amp battery purchased from a store in Salford, Manchester.

The bomber himself, Salman Abedi, received £3,260 in January of 2017 from the government from the state-backed Student Loans Company. The jihadist reported that he had lost his bank card and reported fraud after a series of £790, £710, £800, and £700 withdrawals were made on the 23rd of January.

The jury in the case also heard from Alharth Forjani, the cousin of Salman and Hashem Abedi, who said that he had helped Hashem purchase a chemical used in making explosives from Amazon, saying that “I trusted him”, but that later he thought the chemical might be used to make a bomb.

“I think that he believes in terrorism, that’s what I thought,” Forjani said of Hashem per the BBC.

Hashem Abedi, the brother of the suicide bomber, has denied involvement in the attack on the Manchester Arena in which 22 people were killed and hundreds more were left injured after his jihadist brother detonated a large explosive device in the auditorium full of young adults and children who were attending an Ariana Grande concert.

The court heard last month that the brother of the dead Islamist is just as guilty for the act of terror that inflicted psychological and physical trauma on at least 1,000 people.

“The surviving brother is just as responsible for the crimes which resulted in so much death, serious injury and damage following the detonation of the bomb on the 22 May 2017 as his brother… The defendant through his conduct encouraged and assisted his brother Salman to carry out the attack,” said the prosecutor in the case.

The trial of Hashem Abedi continues.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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