The Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was reportedly known to the security services long before he went on to slaughter 22 people at Ariana Grande’s deadly concert on Monday night.
A new photos of Salman Abedi have emerged online amid reports that the Manchester suicide bomber was radicalized and received “secret training in Syria.” Salman Abedi, 22-years-old, was the second youngest of four children, and his parents were Libyan refugees who fled to the U.K.
Salman Abedi is said to have returned from Libya just before he went on to carry out a suicide bomb attack at Ariana Grande’s show on May 22.
New photographs obtained by the Daily Mail show Salman Abedi lounging on a Libyan beach with his childhood friends. The photos show the suicide bomber seven years before the Manchester attack that killed 22 people, including children as young as eight-years-old.
New details about Salman Abedi suggest that the suicide bomber had only just returned from a conflict zone – possibly Syria – before launching a deadly suicide bomb attack at Ariana Grande’s concert.
As U.K. intelligence agencies are finding Salman Abedi’s connections with al-Qaeda and ISIS in Libya, Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the terrorism threat in Britain to “critical” in the wake of the horrific Manchester attack.
With the highest possible terrorism threat level in Britain, thousands of U.K. army troops are deployed to safeguard key locations in the country amid fears of another terror attack.
After the exclusive pictures showing the teenage Salman Abedi leaked online, the Daily Mail reached out to the suicide bomber’s friends and neighbors near his home in South Manchester where he lived with his family of refugees.
While Salman Abedi’s schoolmates describe the suicide bomber as “a normal kid” who had no interest in religion and smoked cannabis, neighbors claim that the 22-year-old’s behavior changed dramatically around a year ago when he started “hanging out” with suspicious individuals.
One of his friends told the Daily Mail that it “was like a turning point,” as Salman Abedi suddenly stopped seeing his old friends and instead started hanging out with “people I’d never seen before.”
Then Salman Abedi reportedly went to Libya about three weeks prior to the Manchester bombing and returned just hours before he attended Ariana Grande’s concert and detonated a bomb at Manchester Arena on Monday night.
The suicide bomber is said to have received “secret training in Syria” during his trip abroad. Salman Abedi’s neighbors described the Manchester suicide bomber as “quiet” and “not the sort of kid that stood out.”
However, the imam told the publication that Salman Abedi had shown him “the face of hate” when he warned the 22-year-old about the dangers of ISIS. Shortly after the Manchester attack, ISIS took responsibility for the suicide bombing, according to the Independent.
The fact that Salman Abedi was born in a refugee family, who fled to the U.K., touched a sore spot across the nation and Europe as a whole.
The Manchester bombing, which killed at least 22 people, most of whom were children and teens, refueled the debate about the safety of letting refugees from the Middle East into Europe and the U.K.
The bombing triggered a seemingly never-ending debate, with many taking to social media to express their outrage over refugees and other defending refugees, claiming that Salman Abedi was born in Manchester, so technically he’s not a refugee.
Scary that the man who committed the attack in Manchester was a child refugee from Libya. A child this country welcomed to keep him safe?— GeorgiaLouisex (@georgialou08) May 24, 2017
U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the Manchester suicide bomber was known to the security services “up to a point,” adding that it “seems likely” Salman Abedi carried out the bombing alone.
Hours later, however, Manchester police arrested three other men in connection with the horrific bombing. The story is developing.
[Featured Image by Emilio Morenatti/AP Images]