British investigators are hunting for potential conspirators linked to the bombing that killed 22 people in a search that is exploring the possibility that the same cell linked to the Paris and Brussels terror attacks was also to blame for the Manchester Arena attack, two officials familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.
Investigators were also assessing whether Salman Abedi, the suspected bomber in the attack Monday on a pop concert in Manchester, may have been connected to known militants in the northern English city.
Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, was allegedly a member of the al-Qaida-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s, according to a former Libyan security official, Abdel-Basit Haroun.
The elder Abedi denied that he was part of the militant group and said his son was not involved in the concert bombing and had no connection to militants.
Attacker was in Germany
A German magazine reported that Manchester concert bomber had passed through Duesseldorf airport four days before the attack. Citing unnamed federal security sources, Focus reported that British-born Salman Abedi twice flew from a German airport in recent years and wasn’t on any international watch list. A German security official told The Associated Press the report was accurate. Meanwhile, it was also reported that Abedi had transited through Istanbul airport ahead of carrying out the attack. “I can confirm that he transited through Istanbul Ataturk” airport, the official said asking not to be named.
Abedi wanted revenge
Salman Abedi had expressed a desire to avenge the killing of a friend in the British city last year, a source close to his family said on Thursday. His friend, also of Libyan descent, died after being stabbed by British youths in Manchester in May 2016, the source said on condition of anonymity. “That incident stirred up a sense of anger among young Libyans in Manchester and especially Salman, who clearly expressed his desire for revenge,” he said. Meanwhile, his sister believes that Abedi carried out the attack because he wanted revenge for US air strikes on Syria. Jomana Abedi said in an interview that her brother was kind and loving and that she was surprised by what he did on Monday. She said she thought he was driven by America’s military attacks in the Middle East. “I think he saw children — Muslim children — dying everywhere, and wanted revenge,” she told the Wall Street Journal.