Originally called a “lone wolf” before ISIS confirmed that Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was one of their “soldiers,” new information is emerging that shows the 22 year old was raised in a family of like-minded extremists. A Libyan counter-terrorism force arrested the suicide bomber’s younger brother on Wednesday, and it turns out that their father had been involved with a dangerous Al Qaeda-affiliated group in the 1990’s.
Suspected of also having ties to ISIS, Hashem Abedi, 20, was arrested by the Libyan counter-terrorism force Rada in Tripoli on Wednesday, according to a Libyan spokesman.
Abdel-Basit Haroun, a former security official in Libya, told reporters that he knew for a fact that father Ramadan Abedi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which has since disbanded, and belongs to the most extreme sect of Salafism.
However, the elder Abedi — speaking to reporters from Tripoli, where he works as the administrative manager of the city’s Central Security force — claimed that his son had no affiliation with any militant group or the suicide bombing, stating, “We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us.”
According to the terrorist’s father, a recent conversation with his son sounded “normal,” and he noted that the young jihadist had visited Libya a month-and-a-half ago.
Ramadan Abedi and his wife, Samia Tabbal, fled Tripoli in 1993 and immigrated to London before relocating to south Manchester, where they have lived for the past ten years at least.
Other people with ties to the extremist group live in the Abedi’s neighborhood, including an expert bomb-maker who reportedly “left Manchester to run a terrorist network in eastern Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden’s successor as leader of Al Qaeda,” according to a Fox News report.
Manchester’s police chief Constable Ian Hopkins now says that the suicide bomber was part of a terror network, and police are meticulously searching Manchester as part of their investigation.
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