Ariana Grande Concert Bomber Associated With Known Extremists, Was on Security Services Radar 18 Times

Abedi
Greater Manchester Police

Salman Abedi, the jihadist who killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, United Kingdom in 2017 repeatedly came to the attention of the security services but officers failed to connect the dots, leaving him free to murder.

The Libyan-origin 22-year-old detonated a rucksack full of improvised explosives at the Manchester Arena on May 22nd 2017, killing 22 at an Ariana Grande concert. Most of the victims were child fans of the pop star, and their parents who had chaperoned them.

The ongoing inquest into the attack has revealed multiple failings of the security services, not least the fact that Abedi was reported to police and security guards several times on the night of the attack for acting suspiciously, but also it has now been revealed in the years running up to the bombing.

Abedi had been flagged by the United Kingdom’s MI5 domestic intelligence agency 18 times over seven years, The Times reports, and was known to have relationships with six other people being monitored by MI5. Yet despite the wealth of evidence, when viewed in isolation each case was dismissed as being not sufficiently suspicious.

Among the reasons for being flagged were plans to travel to Syria, his contact details being found on the phone of an arrested extremist, and twice visiting convicted terrorists in prison. The newspaper reported that two instances of the intelligence services receiving intelligence about Abedi in the run up to the attack were dismissed as being “possibly innocent activity”, despite actually being related to the planning of the bombing.

In one case, Abedi was actually made a subject of interest by the intelligence services but was taken off the list months later.

The inquiry is expected to last at least until early 2021.

Hashem Abedi, Salman’s brother, was sentenced to to a minimum of 55 years in prison in August for his part in the attack. He was found guilty for 22 counts of murder for sourcing chemicals and parts for the bomb.

In a cruel twist of fate, both brothers had been rescued from Libya in 2014 by the Royal Navy, which was tasked by the government to evacuate British passport holders from the country during the civil war following the 2011 anti-Colonel Gaddafi coup.

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