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  1. ITV Report

Brother of Manchester Arena attacker extradited from Libya to the UK

The younger brother of Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi, has been extradited to the UK.

After landing at a London airport, Hashem Abedi was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life. He will be transferred to a police custody facility.

At midday today he was flown in a private jet from Tripoli to a London airport.

Chief Constable for Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins said: “I am now able to say that, following application by the Crown Prosecution Service for the extradition of Hashem Abedi from Libya, he has today been successfully extradited, for offences relating to the Manchester Arena attack.

“He was handed over by Libyan authorities to British police officers this morning. They escorted him on the flight back and he landed in the UK a short while ago.”

Hashem Abedi is being transported to police custody. Credit: Pool

The 22-year-old had been held by a militia group in Libya since his brother killed 22 people when he detonated a suicide vest on May 22, 2017.

Greater Manchester Police issued a warrant for Hashem's arrest and have been working to bring him to the UK from Libya.

Prime Minister Theresa May described the arrest as an "important moment" in the investigation.

She said: "I hope it is a welcome step for the loved ones of all of the victims.

"Those people who have commanded themselves with such dignity through what has been a deeply distressing and difficult time for them - and conducted themselves with that dignity as they search for justice."

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed the extradition. Credit: Pool

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the UK government had been "working tirelessly" with the Libyan authorities to bring those involved in atrocity to justice.

"The work that the police have done and others has meant that today has been a very important step forward in achieving justice," he said.

Despite the home secretary praising the extradition, the husband of Alison Howe, who was killed in the blast while waiting to collect her daughter, says it will make no difference to him.

Steve Howe said: "Extraditing his brother, and questioning him, won't bring Alison back - it's not going to take any pain away from my family whatsoever."

He added: "Where we're concerned it's definitely not going to make me feel one bit better."

Manchester mayor Andy Burham said it was an "important day" for the city and his thoughts were with the families and everyone affected by the attack.

"It is right and proper that those people affected will now see a judicial process of British soil," he said.

After processing at the police station, Abedi will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at a later time.

Chief Constable Hopkins added: "I want to thank all those involved for their commitment to this investigation and the successful extradition of Hashem Abedi.

"We do understand that there has been a huge appetite for updates in relation to the extradition. We are pleased that we can now explain the progress that has been made."

The deadly attack took place in May 2017, which killed 22 people. Credit: PA

Salman and Hashem flew to Libya on April 18, 2017, but older brother Salman flew back to Manchester a week before the terror attack.

Both Hashem and Salman were born in Manchester and went to school in the city.

The attack on the Manchester Arena killed more than 20 and injured 139, more than half of whom were children.

Ariana Grande was performing at the venue, where an estimated 14,000 people attended at the event.

Salman Abedi detonated his suicide bomb near the foyer area of the arena as people were leaving the venue.