As suspected and as was the case in virtually all recent terror attacks carried out in Europe – including both in France and Belgium – the suspect involved in the recent Manchester blast which killed 22 and injured scores more was previously known to British security and intelligence agencies.
The Telegraph in its article, “Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber – what we know about him,” would report:
Salman Abedi (image on the right, source: LDR), 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.
While initial reports attempted to craft a narrative focused on a a “lone wolf” attacker who organized and executed the blast himself, the nature of the improvised explosive device used and the details of the attack revealed what was certainly an operation carried out by someone who either acquired militant experience through direct contact with a terrorist organization, or was directed by a terrorist organization with extensive experience.
A Thriving Terrorist Community in the Midst of Manchester
The same Telegraph article would also admit (emphasis added):
A group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), lived within close proximity to Abedi in Whalley Range.
Among them was Abd al-Baset Azzouz, a father-of-four from Manchester, who left Britain to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of al-Qaeda.
Azzouz, 48, an expert bomb-maker, was accused of running an al-Qaeda network in eastern Libya. The Telegraph reported in 2014 that Azzouz had 200 to 300 militants under his control and was an expert in bomb-making.
Another member of the Libyan community in Manchester, Salah Aboaoba told Channel 4 news in 2011 that he had been fund raising for LIFG while in the city. Aboaoba had claimed he had raised funds at Didsbury mosque, the same mosque attended by Abedi.