Hashem Abedi, convicted of 22 murders for his part in his brother Salman’s suicide bombing of the Manchester Arena in 2017, has been sentenced to a minimum of 55 years in prison.
The radical Islamic terrorist, 23, was convicted of 22 counts of murder for organising the attack on the Ariana Grande concert with his brother in March, having been extradited from Libya to stand trial.
The Abedis’ father, a member of the Salafi jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, came to Britain as a refugee, but returned with his family after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in a botched Western intervention championed by Barack Obama and David Cameron.
The brothers were brought to Britain by the Royal Navy in an evacuation operation in 2014 as the North African country descended into warlordism, allowing Salman to carry out his attack — although Hashem ultimately made his way back again.
“The stark reality is these were atrocious crimes; large in scale, deadly in intent, appalling in their consequences,” sentencing judge Jeremy Baker said of the Manchester murders, saying Hashem Abedi was “equally culpable” as his suicide bomber brother for the attack.
“The despair and desolation of the bereaved families has been palpable,” Baker added — although Abedi himself was not present for either the victim impact statements or sentencing in court, having refused to leave his cell.
It is not known if he will be subject to contempt of court proceedings for his actions.
State handouts and a student loan paid for Manchester bomber’s terror plot. https://t.co/peqzYBllDq
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 30, 2017
Abedi could not be given a whole-life sentence, according to the judge and prosecutors, as Labour era legislation which the Conservatives have not changed prohibits such sentences for convicts under the age of 21 at the time of their crimes, and Abedi was a few months shy of his 21st birthday when the Manchester bombing took place.
He will not necessarily be released after 55 years, as it will be open to the authorities to deny his parole.
However, the Parole Board has released people convicted of shocking crimes before, such as triple child murderer David ‘The Monster of Worcester’ McGreavy, who was freed in 2019 without the mother of his victims being consulted.
Israeli Counter-terror Vet: Manchester Attack a Result of ‘Failed Immigration Policy’ https://t.co/ObmeGParPa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 3, 2019