Who was Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi and what do we know about his family?

  • ITV Granada Reports journalist Tim Scott delves into the life of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi

Salman Abedi seemed, on the face of it, an unlikely jihadi. He has been described as a normal teenager, a "fun guy", according to school friends, who loved football and liked to party.

So what changed? What motivated him to commit the atrocity at Manchester Arena which killed 22 innocent people?

Duncan Gardham, a security journalist who specialises in covering terrorism, said: "We have to understand his perhaps troubled upbringing; perhaps the influence of the jihadi support he may have seen in his own family; his own lack of prospects and how that may have then been played upon by the undoubted Isis propaganda that was being pumped out by people he would have come across."

Salman Abedi and his brothers fought in the Libyan war.

The Libyan Civil War appears to be a crucial factor in Salman Abedi's radicalisation. Abedi's parents fled the country as dissidents under the regime of Col Gaddafi. 

Abedi's father Ramadan was a member of the anti- Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group - described in 2006 as a threat to global safety and allies of al-Qaeda.

In 2011, he took his sons back to Libya to fight in the struggle against Gaddafi.

Abedi's father Ramadan was a member of the anti- Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation said: "Abedi came back and was radicalised by that brutal uprising and he came back to this country, looked at what was happening in Syria and was certainly brainwashed into thinking he was doing some sort of holy act."

As the child of an immigrant family in Manchester, did Abedi struggle to fit in? Was there a conflict between living in a liberal democracy and being born into a strict Islamist family?

Irfan Chishti from Me and You Education, a counter extremism training provider, said: "Comfortably British and confidently Muslim - if he had got to that level of balancing his cultural and religious identity and being a Mancunian - I think we would have never had that atrocity."

Abdalraouf Abdallah was visited in prison by Salman Abedi.

Salman Abedi was in contact with Islamic hardliners in South Manchester.

Abdalraouf Abdallah was jailed for helping people join Isis. Salman Abedi visited him in prison in the months before the bombing. Was Abedi groomed towards radicalisation by people like this?

Ismael Lee South from The Salam Project said: "The grooming happens in different ways. It can happen online whereby they start up a WhatsApp or Facebook group and then after a couple of months they say 'Our people are suffering in Syria - what are you doing here? You are being sinful'.

"They will make you feel guilty and the only way you can relieve your sins is to fly out." 

Salman Abedi was trained to fight in Libya.

At Didsbury Mosque, Salman Abedi's father would lead prayers and the whole family would attend.

A former Imam there told the inquiry he fell foul of Salman Abedi after preaching against ISIS terrorism.

The Mosque accused Mr El-Saeti of lying and insisted radicalism has no place there.

But it seems clear Abedi's strict Islamist upbringing; fighting in Libya with his father and brothers; an identity crisis, and associations with with Isis sympathisers in South Manchester all conspired to put him onto that deadly path - a path that was to lead to him building the bomb which claimed 22 innocent lives.

Who were the Abedi family and what do we know about them? 

The Manchester Arena Inquiry has shed new light on the family history of Salman and Hashem Abedi, the evil brothers who carried out the Manchester Arena bombing.

Their parents Ramadan Abedi and Samia Tabbal, who married in the early 1990s, arrived in the UK in 1993 and sought asylum on the basis that they faced persecution under the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

That’s because Ramadan was thought to be linked to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an Islamist organisation opposed to Colonel Gaddafi.

The LIFG officially disbanded in 2010 and it was removed from the US Department of State’s list of terrorist organisations in 2015.

The couple eventually obtained refugee status and five years after that Ramadan Abedi was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, becoming a UK citizen in 2007. 

Abedi's father Ramadan was thought to be linked to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Ramadan Abedi and Samia Tabbal had six children. Ismail was born in 1993. He left the UK in order to avoid giving evidence to the public inquiry. 

Salman was born on 31 December 1994 and was 22-years-old when he carried out the attack.

Hashem was born in 1997 and was aged 20 when the attack happened. Ramadan Abedi and Samia Tabbal went on to have three more children, two girls and a boy.

Upon their arrival in the UK in 1993, Ramadan Abedi and Samia Tabbal lived briefly in London. After a couple of months, they moved to Fallowfield in Manchester.

By September 2011, they were back in Libya where they remained for two years - arriving back in Manchester in November 2013.

The Public Inquiry revealed that between 2015 and 2017, Ramadan Abedi spent most of his time in Libya.

In October 2016, Samia Tabbal is also believed to have travelled to Libya leaving Salman and Hashem alone in Manchester.

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