British officials scold the USA for leaking intelligence on the Manchester attack

Ruben Ruiz
May 30, 2017

Investigators believe 22-year-old Manchester-born suicide bomber Salman Abedi, from a family of Libyan origin, acted as part of a terrorist network and their focus had been on intercepting his wider network.

Abedi, 22, blew himself up at Manchester Arena as the concert was ending Monday night, killing 22 people and injuring 119 others.

Ahmed bin Salem, a spokesman for the Special Deterrent Force in Libya, said Abedi placed his final call to both his mother and a brother. Al-Qaeda considered London the nerve centre of its operations in Europe, with the security services collaborating with some of these organisations and their leaders, the most well known being Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.

Meanwhile, it also emerged on Friday that Abedi had opened a bank account 12 months ago that lay dormant, according to The Times, until he used it to purchase the nails and screws used as shrapnel in his attack.

Twenty-two people were killed and 64 were injured and being treated in hospital, including twelve under the age of 16, medical officials said.

"The last time we spoke, I told him he should come to fast during Ramadan with us in Libya, and he showed no objection", the father said, "If he had anything in his mind by that time he would've disagreed".

British security services are also upset that Abedi's name was apparently leaked by USA officials while British police were withholding it - and while raids were underway in Manchester and in Libya, where the bomber's father lives.

Earlier reports in British newspapers claimed the imam of Didsbury Mosque, which Abedi often frequented with his family, had noticed his sympathies for ISIL but had not contacted the authorities.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Wednesday that American leaks about the Manchester bombing investigation were "irritating" and that he had "been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again".

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Manchester police have not commented since, although a national counterterrorism official said in a statement that his agency has received "fresh assurances" from global partners and is working closely with worldwide law enforcement groups, including the U.S.

Al-Libi was seized by U.S. forces in Tripoli in October 2013 and died in 2015 of liver cancer before coming to trial.

A minute's silence was observed in honour of the victims at a square in central Manchester, after which crowds broke into an emotional chorus of "Don't Look Back in Anger", an old hit song by the band Oasis who are from the city.

"It's awful. Very wicked, to target that sort of thing", the monarch told 14-year-old Evie Mills and her parents.

The suspect's mother told interrogators that Abedi had left Libya for the United Kingdom only four days before the attack and that he called her hours before it, asking to "forgive him".

She did not announce a date for the benefit concert.

The teenager credited her father's quick action in picking her up and tying off her wounds to stem the bleeding. Eight people remain in custody.

Armed officers have been patrolling London Underground trains since December 2016, but the latest move marks a first affecting other parts of the country outside the capital.

Other reports by GizPress

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