Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi “wanted revenge” for the deaths of children in Syria, his sister confirmed.
Abedi, a 22-year-old British-born son of Libyan refugees, killed 22 innocent men, women and children when he blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert while fans were leaving Manchester Arena on Monday night. The Islamic State laid claim to the attack.
“I think he saw children—Muslim children—dying everywhere, and wanted revenge. He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge,” Jomana Abedi told the Wall Street Journal.“Whether he got that is between him and God.”
A family friend of Abedi also claims he wanted revenge for the death of his friend last year, which he viewed as a hate crime.
Last May, Abedi’s friend Abdul Wahab Hafidah, 18, was run over and stabbed in Manchester by a mob of men currently on trial for his murder. Hafidah was a gang member who had sparred in a rival group’s territory. The seven defendants range in age from 15 to 21, according to Manchester authorities.
“I remember Salman at his funeral vowing revenge,” a family friend told the Journal.
New reports on Wednesday claim Salman Abedi was a loner who loved soccer, smoked pot and expressed sympathy with suicide attackers. In recent years, Abedi flunked out of college and demonstrated more radicalized ideas.
Abedi’s father and two brothers have been arrested in the days after the attack. “We don’t believe in killing innocents,” said Ramadan Abedi, 51, the father of Salman. The oldest son Ismail, 23, was arrested in Britain before being obtained by authorities in Libya.
Younger son Hashem Abedi, 18, was arrested in Libya. He reportedly told police there that he was a part of ISIS and had been planning an attack in the North African country’s capital.
Despite Ramadan Abedi claiming that his son was not a jihadist, investigators claim they are now looking at Abedi as part of a larger terrorist network that extends outside of Britain. Salman also had a troubled relationship with his Libyan immigrants parents, who raised him along with Jomana, Ismail, and Hashem in Manchester.
Reportedly, Salman Abedi was planning a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia from Libya, but inevitably returned to England and carried out his murderous attack.
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Manchester bomb maker is still at large, may strike again