Introduction — May 31, 2017
Police claims that Salman Abedi “may have” acted alone sound like a deliberate attempt to mislead.
For a start it ignores the fact that Abedi made trips to Libya, a known terror breeding-ground, and Syria, a war zone. By their own admission, British intelligence “knew” of these trips to Middle Eastern trouble-spots and allowed them to continues without scrutiny.
Crucially the police statement also overlooks the fact that Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, was a former Libyan intelligence officer who had been granted asylum after he assisted British intelligence in a failed attempt to oust Colonel Gadaffi in the 1990s.
Ramadan Abedi later went on to fight against Gadaffi with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which David Shayler cited as being backed by MI6.
So British intelligence’s fingerprints are all over this case and police claims that Salman Abedi was a “lone wolf” sound like an attempt to prevent further investigation into its involvement. Ed.
Manchester suicide bomber may have been a lone-wolf say police
Thomas Burrows, Tom Witherow — Daily Mail May 31, 2017
The Manchester suicide bomber may have been a lone wolf, counter-terrorism police have said.
In the four days between landing in the UK and carrying out the atrocity that killed 22 people, Salman Abedi bought most of the components and built the bomb by himself.
Police said they still need to find the blue suitcase which he was seen with hours before he launched the attack on May 22.
It may contain crucial evidence of bomb-making equipment or potential associates, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said yesterday, which could allow forensic experts to piece his final movements together.
Police said they could not rule out that the Libyan was part of a wider network, but after seven days of investigation they concluded he mostly acted alone.
Three men arrested in connection with the attack were released without charge tonight.
The men aged 20, 24 and 37 were among 16 people arrested by police – 11 now remain in custody. Those arrested are mostly of Libyan descent and include Abedi’s brother Ismail, 24.
The 16th person arrested by detectives was named locally as Alaedeen Zakry, who describes himself as a ‘commercial pilot and digital marketer’, running an online market place for Libyans from his home in Shoreham-by-the-Sea, in West Sussex.
Elsewhere a number of people were detained after a very noisy raid by armed police in Rusholme, Manchester.
Meanwhile it emerged on Monday that three Malaysian students were detained for questioning amid fears Abedi used their address as part of his plot.
The students, Aliff Farhan, Muhd Helmi and a third man, were released without charge on Monday night, The Times reported.
It is thought the suicide bomber may have exploited the students and tried to use their accommodation as a place to stay, to avoid detection by the security services.
Two of the Malaysians, who are all in their 20s, are studying medicine at Manchester University. The third is thought to study at Manchester Metropolitan University
One thousand officers have been working on the case as well as ‘hundreds of’ witnesses, which have painstakingly pieced together the bomber’s last movements using CCTV and mobile phone records.
The key components of the bomb and where they were purchased are now well understood, police said, adding that there are gaps in his final movements, particularly concerning his movements around the so-called Curry Mile area in south Manchester.
Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, Head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: ‘Much of the investigation has been painstakingly working through Salman Abedi’s last movements. We have done this by examining his movements on CCTV and other interactions he has had whether it be with people or the phone calls he has made.
‘With specialist support we have also have a good understanding of the likely component parts of the bomb and where these came from.
‘Our enquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack.
‘It is vital that we make sure that he is not part of a wider network and we cannot rule this out yet. There remain a number of things that concern us about his behaviour prior to the attack and those of his associates which we need to get to the bottom of.
‘We are especially keen to find out why he kept going back to the Wilmslow Road [Curry Mile] area and we need to find the blue suitcase which he used during these trips.
‘We still have a number of people in custody and we will be seeking to extend the custody of some of them as we work to understand what has gone on and whether Abedi was helped.
‘Today we have released without charge two men aged 20 and 24 from the Fallowfield area and a 37-year-old man from the Blackley area.’