UK Failed to Learn Lessons of 9/11, 7/7, Says Father of Ariana Grande Terror Attack Victim

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Andrew Roussos, the father of Saffie Roussos (C) holds his son Xander Roussos whilst carrying the coffin of his daughter following the funeral of the young Manchester Attack victim at Manchester Cathedral on July 26, 2017 in Manchester, England. Saffie Rousso, aged eight, from Lancashire …
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Andrew Roussos, the father of eight-year-old Saffie who was killed in an Islamist terror attack three years ago, has criticised the government for failing to learn security lessons following the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States and the 7/7 Islamist bombings in London.

Saffie R0ussos was the youngest victim of the Islamist terror attack on the audience of the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22nd, 2017. Her father addressed the public inquiry at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, saying: “What we are all going through, the failures we are all listening to and the excuses we will all sit through, needs to stop.”

“Enough is enough, sir. At present in 2020, if we are still learning lessons then nothing will ever change. The biggest lesson and wake-up call should have come from 7/7 and 9/11,” Mr Roussos said, according to The Guardian.

The Islamist terror attack committed by al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001, was the single most deadly terror attack in U.S. history, with four coordinated terror attacks resulting in the death of 2,977 victims and the 19 suicide attackers. The July 7th, 2005, jihadist bombings of London’s public transport left 52 innocent people dead, as well as the four suicide bombers.

Mr Roussos had made the remarks after those sitting at Manchester Magistrates’ Court watched a video tribute by Saffie’s mother Lisa, who had accompanied her daughter to the concert, suffering injuries as a result of the blast that resulted in her being in a coma. Mrs Roussos was only aware that her daughter was dead after she had woken in hospital.

“I did die that day, inside I’m dead. My heart is so heavy, it weighs me down,” Mrs Roussos had said, recounting how she had pleaded with her husband to let her die after hearing the news.

The inquiry had already revealed that authorities had numerous “missed opportunities” to prevent the son of Libyan refugees, Salman Abedi, from committing the suicide attack that killed 22 people and injured 800 others. Abedi had let off a suicide bomb inside a backpack that he was wearing inside the foyer of the venue as the audience of mostly children, women, and families was leaving the concert.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court has heard in recent weeks how the UK’s domestic intelligence service MI5 was aware that Abedi had been in the company of extremists, including one serving time in prison for terrorism offences, in the months running up to the deadly terror attack. But MI5 chose not to reopen its investigation into the 22-year-old. Three years before the attack, authorities were aware that Abedi had discussed martyrdom with convicted and jailed terrorist Abdalraouf Abdallah.

Abedi had been known to counterterrorism authorities since he was 15 years old, becoming a ‘Subject of Interest’ when he was 19. MI5, also known as the Security Services, however, removed him as an SOI, deeming him not a threat. Despite being on the Security Service’s radar and his affiliations, Abedi was never referred to the government’s anti-extremism programme Prevent.

Perhaps most shockingly of all, the police had an opportunity to stop the attack just minutes before it took place, after a member of the public reported the bomber for acting suspiciously to a police officer at the Manchester Arena. The report came 32 minutes before the blast, but the conversation between the reporter and the police officer — which was to do with “praying and political correctness” — did not lead to any action being taken.


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