Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?

Ivan Schwartz
May 26, 2017

Abedi was known to British intelligence services, interior minister Amber Rudd said this week, without giving further details.

The paper published crime scene photos of what appeared to be the blood-smeared silver detonator, with wires trailing from one end.

The Times defended its decision to publish the photos and a map showing where the bomb was detonated and where the victims were found, saying its work was "neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims".

"It is not clear from the law enforcement images if the object was a simple plunger switch, or included a timer or a receiver that could be operated remotely via radio signal - or some combination".

The outrage from British officials over a series of high profile leaks to the USA media about the Manchester bombing investigation has damaged the public relationship between the two countries - but United Kingdom officials, intelligence experts and European security officials say it's unlikely to have a major effect on intelligence cooperation.

May and British security services had expressed outrage after the name of the attacker, Salman Abedi, and pictures of the crime scene were leaked to the press, and they blamed the US for the leaks. On the investigation front, Greater Manchester Police say two men were arrested overnight in Manchester and in the Withington area south of the city.

'The alleged leaks coming out of government agencies are deeply troubling, ' Trump said.

Britain had reacted angrily to leaks of information to the USA after the Manchester attack that killed 22 people, including one that led American outlets to first report the name of suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Libya arrested Abedi's father Ramadan and younger brother Hashem, who was also born in Britain, a relative and security sources said on Wednesday.

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The Church of Scotland's Rev Dr Lindsay Schluter, minister for Barra and South Uist congregations, has also offered support. Laura was found in a hospital in Manchester suffering from serious injuries, while Eilidh remained missing.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and newly elected French President Emanuel Macron issued no public statements Wednesday, a day after both leaders took extreme measures to address the terror threats in their countries.

Meanwhile, Ramadan Abedi, who is in Tripoli, Libya, denied his son was linked to militants or the bombing.

And, authorities are now examining a potential connection between Abedi and Mohamed Abrini, believed to be one of the key plotters behind the 2015 Bataclan concert hall attack in Paris, as well as a dual suicide bombing that rocked a train station and the main worldwide airport in Brussels in March of that year.

He says the brother told them that Salman learned how to make explosives on the internet and wanted to "seek victory for the Islamic State".

She also chatted and shook hands with hospital staff, and told the father of another injured teenager at the hospital: "It's not something you expect at all".

Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported Wednesday that a female suspect was apprehended in Manchester after a series of fast-paced raids on an apartment block in the city. The National Health Service says 75 people have been admitted to eight hospitals, "including 23 patients now receiving critical care". His older brother, 23-year-old Ismail, was arrested by Manchester police on Tuesday.

"The Bureau leaks more than the intelligence services, yes", Carle said.

Britain's terror threat assessment was hiked to "critical", the highest level, meaning an attack is considered imminent.

Manchester and the rest of the United Kingdom held a minute of silence at 11 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) Thursday in remembrance of those who lost their lives or were affected by the attack.

Katz reported from London.

Other reports by GizPress

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