Manchester bomber: A life on the move

By DW (Deutsche Welle)

Date: 25.05.2017

The bomber who carried out the Manchester attack was in Germany days beforehand, according to media sources. Salman Abedi and his family led a life on the move, regularly traveling between Libya and Britain.

Salman Abedi, the British suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert in the English city of Manchester, flew from Germany in the days leading up to the attack.

 

Abedi was  in Düsseldorf, according to reports from the German news magazine Focus.German police say they believe he was probably in transit at the airport from somewhere else before flying to Manchester.

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The magazine said Abedi was also in Frankfurt in 2015. He is previously thought to have undergone paramilitary training in Syria.

An expert from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) told Focus that it still needed to be clarified whether Abedi had made connections with Islamist militants in Germany or elsewhere.

“The scene is closely interwoven internationally,” he said.

According to Focus, university dropout Abedi was not on any of the watch lists that would normally be used to track the movements of suspected Islamist militants.

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British police have said that Abedi was apparently supported by an Islamist network, partly based on the forethought and care with which the explosive device was prepared.

Security services are scrambling to piece together details of what made Abedi into a killer.

His parents, from the Libyan capital Tripoli, had emigrated to London as refugees escaping the now-fallen regime of late leader Moammar Gadhafi. They later moved to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester, but always retained their links with Libya. Salman Abedi was born in the city in 1994.

Abedi was the second youngest of four siblings and it is believed the lived in several districts – the Moss Side, Fallowfield and Whalley Range areas of south Manchester – all not not far from the city center and the scene of Monday night’s attack.

The young Salman Abedi moved schools with unusual frequency, attending at least three separate high schools. He was described

Abedi was said to have been a normal teenager, a fan of Manchester United who spent hours playing computer games on his Playstation 4 console.

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The Abedi family worshipped at Manchester’s Didsbury Mosque, which has strongly condemned the bombing and denied reports that he had worked there. Neighbors have described the Abedis as very traditional and “super religious.”

The mosque’s Imam said the bomber had stopped attending going to the mosque in 2015 because he objected to comments that were made there against “Islamic State.”

Neighbors have said the family travelled back and forth between Libya and Britain on a regular basis since his father returned there in 2011, when Gadhafi was overthrown.

A Libyan official told the BBC that authorities were aware that Abedi had gone to Tripoli on April 18 and it was believed he had stayed for two or three weeks.

He told both his parents he was on his way to make a pilgrimage to Mecca and had persuaded them to  give him back his passport, which they had confiscated.

He called his mother – a nuclear scientist who graduated top of her class from Tripoli University – hours before the attack, apparently to say goodbye ahead of the journey to Saudi Arabia. The journey would never took place.

 

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