Politics: The Manchester attacker was a 'mule' acting for a bomb maker
Salman Abedi is believed to have been radicalised during trips to Syria and was known to British intelligence services.
- First pictures of Salman Abedi were released Wednesday morning.
- He was born in the UK and turned to extremist ideology in recent years. He was known to British spies.
- Abedi went on "secret jihadi training during family trips to Syria," according to The Sun.
- The BBC reported that Abedi was acting as a "mule" for a bomb maker, who remains on the run.
- His Manchester address was searched Tuesday, with forensic experts finding a book titled "Know Your Chemicals!"
- The police arrested his brother and three others in raids across the city.
LONDON — Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old suicide bomber who carried out the attack at Manchester Arena on Monday night, was radicalised during trips to Syria and was known to British intelligence services.
Abedi killed 22 and injured at least 64 when he detonated an improvised bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena in central Manchester on Monday night, where the pop star Ariana Grande was performing.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd told Sky News on Wednesday that the Mancunian of Libyan descent was known "up to a point" by British spies and "it seems likely" he wasn't acting alone.
Abedi's brother, 23-year-old Ismail Abedi, was arrested in Chorlton in south Manchester on Tuesday in connection with the attack. On Wednesday three other men have been arrested, and a block of flats on Granby Row in central Manchester has been raided by armed police officers. The investigation is ongoing.
"The security services will know a lot of people — it doesn't mean they are expected to arrest everybody they know," Rudd said. "But it is somebody who they had known before."
In other news Wednesday:
- Ten victims of the Manchester Arena attack have been named.
- A man with a knife was arrested at Buckingham Palace.
- Amber Rudd condemned US officials for leaking intelligence on the attack.
- Campaigning for the June 8 general election remains on hold out of respect for the victims.
Who was Salman Abedi?
Abedi died as a result of the bomb. His ID card was found at the site of the attack, The New York Times reported, citing a US law-enforcement official who spoke anonymously because the investigation was ongoing.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Abedi was thought to be acting as a "mule," with the explosive device most likely made by someone else, who remains on the run. "More Govt announcements expected today," he tweeted.
Abedi, also known as Salman Ramadan Abedi, is believed to have travelled to Manchester from London by train before the attack, Reuters reported. The Islamic State on Tuesday said a "caliphate soldier" was responsible for the attack. The police have not found any evidence to support the terrorist group's claim.
Several images of Abedi were published Wednesday morning.
Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994 and was one of four children to parents who were Libyan refugees who fled to Britain at the height of the Gaddafi regime, the BBC reports.
He attended school in Manchester and went to Salford University before dropping out prior to the second year of his degree in business and management. He left the UK for a period of time, reportedly to Libya, but returned just days before the attack. The Financial Times said he was involved with gangs and turned to radical Islam in recent years.
The Sun published the first image of Abedi on Wednesday. It said he had "secret jihadi training during family trips to Syria," making trips to the war-torn country without alerting authorities. French intelligence also suggests he went to Syria, according to reports.
Abedi grew up in the Whalley Range area of the city, about 2 miles southwest of the city centre. He did not make a "strong impression" on those around him, the Associated Press reported, and was hardly known to staff at Salford University.
Alan Kinsey, 52, who lives across the street from the Abedi residence, told the AP he had seen "a lot of different people living there" previously but in the past six months or more had seen only one young man in his 20s. Kinsey said he would often get picked up by another young man in a Toyota and got home late.
Kinsey added that he thought Abedi "worked in a takeaway or something" because of his late hours.
Law-enforcement officials gained entry to Abedi's home Tuesday afternoon after setting off a controlled explosion to get in, The New York Times reported.
"It was so quick. These cars just pulled up and all these police with guns, dogs, jumped out of the car and said to us: 'Get in the house now,'" Simon Turner, Abedi's 46-year-old neighbour, told the Associated Press.
An unidentified 23-year-old man was arrested in south Manchester in connection with the attack, and armed police officers also raided two addresses near the Chorlton area of Manchester around lunchtime, The Guardian reported.
The pictures below show forensic investigators investigating a home in the Fallowfield area of Manchester believed to be linked to the attacker.
Those concerned about loved ones who may have been in the area during the attack can call 0800 096 0095.