What we know about Salman Abedi, the man named as Manchester suicide bomber

What we know about Salman Abedi, the man named as Manchester suicide bomber

Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old named as the suicide bomber behind Monday's terror attack on Manchester Arena, was born in the city and is believed to be of Libyan descent.

Abedi was registered as living at Elsmore Road in the city as recently as last year - where police raided a downstairs red-bricked semi-detached property on Tuesday as they hunted those thought to be behind the blast.

Neighbours recalled an abrasive, tall, skinny young man who was little known in the neighbourhood, and often seen in traditional Islamic clothing.

It was unclear whether he lived alone at the address, where a flag - possibly Palestinian - was occasionally seen flying from an upstairs window.

Neighbours said the young man had many visitors, one man dropping by regularly to pick him up in a Toyota Yaris.

Abedi is thought to have been of Libyan origin and born in Manchester.

He is thought to have lived at a number of addresses in the area, including one in Wilbraham Road, where plain clothes police made an arrest on Tuesday.

Police carried out a raid at Salman Abedi's address today.
Police carried out a raid at Salman Abedi's address today.

Abedi is registered as having lived with his mother Samia Tabbal, father Ramadan Abedi and a brother, Ismail Abedi, who was born in Westminster in 1993.

He is thought to have a younger brother, named as Hashim Abedi, and a sister Jomana, whose Facebook profile suggests she is from Tripoli and lives in Manchester.

A childhood friend of Ismail, who asked not to be named, described Salman as "normal" and said his family were known to the Libyan community in the city.

He told the Press Association: "Ismail's brother was kind of like a normal guy. I've never chilled with his brother. I know his name is Salman and I say 'hi' to him and talk to him.

"He was always friendly, nothing to suggest (he was violent). He was normal, to be honest."

According to the man, Ismail teaches Arabic classes at a mosque in the area, which his father was also said to visit.

Police carried out a raid at Salman Abedi's address today.
Police carried out a raid at Salman Abedi's address today.

Abedi was a student at Salford University.

Dr Sam Grogan, the university's Pro-Vice Chancellor Student Experience, said: "All at the University of Salford are shocked and saddened by the events of last night. Our thoughts are with all those involved, their families and their friends.

"We have provided, and continue to provide, support to all students and staff who have been affected."

He also said that in an "unrelated incident" there was an evacuation of three buildings at the university "as a precautionary measure for a short period of time earlier this evening".

Salman Abedi "probably" attended the Manchester Islamic Centre, also known as the Didsbury Mosque, officials at the mosque said.

Fawaz Haffar, a businessman and trustee of the mosque, said he did not know the bomber or recall seeing him at the mosque.

But he said he "probably" did attend there, given his father used to perform the azan, the call for prayer before 1,000 of the faithful, and his brother attended as a volunteer at the mosque until recently.

Mr Haffar stressed the mosque was what he called a moderate, modern, liberal mosque, and he is a member of an organisation liaising with police, the Independent Advisory Group.

Besieged by reporters at the mosque, Mr Haffar said it was likely Salman Abedi had attended the mosque.

He said: "He probably did, I have never seen him, I don't know him, as a trustee I can only say what I have seen. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not.

"I came earlier to ask any of the employees whether they knew him, people said they don't know him. There are many mosques, he may be attending another mosque. I honestly do not know.

"We make sure they preach the true Islam, the modern Islam, that preaches love to each other, peace and harmony."

Mr Haffar said Abedi had two brothers and did recall his father attending.

He said: "I see him praying but I don't know really who he is. I see him sometimes raising the azan, or call to prayer, but that was a long time ago.

"As far as I knew he went back to Libya when things were much better over there, to work over there.

"That's all I know about him. He was devout as far as I know. He had three sons, one of them is detained, one of them is a suspect and the third one I have no idea who he is."

He said Salman Abedi's brother, Ismail, attended the mosque as a volunteer.

He added: "One of the gentleman who is detained, he came here and did some voluntary work. I personally do not know him. That is the brother, Ismail.

"That is what I heard, he used to do some voluntary work, unpaid.

"I think over the last few months. As far as I know he used to do some volunteering.

"He may have been helping here. I did ask one of the gentlemen here who said he does sometimes volunteer. I believe it is until recently."

Mr Haffar said the mosque employs three imams, two Libyan and a Syrian, who all give sermons.

"I would say the reason for that is most of the sermons are in Arabic and many of them like to listen to the prayers in Arabic anyway. Yes we have many Libyan brothers and sisters here.

"I myself I'm a member of the advisory body the police set up quite some time ago, it's called the Independent Advisory Group, the IAG, and I do attend meetings and if there's any issues, we would say.

"We did not want to end up with a radical mosque like what has happened in other parts of the UK.

"So we are very very careful, we are very careful about who we employ and the imams we employ because we are always scared of radicalism."

Abedi studied on a business and management course at Salford University two or three years ago, a source said, but dropped out of the course and did not complete his degree.

The source said Abedi began his course in 2014 and attended lectures for two years but then stopped going.

He would have graduated this summer.

He did not live in university accommodation, had not been in any trouble at the university and was not on any radar for pastoral or social care.

Read more here.

PA

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