Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Police update media on Manchester bomb investigation

This is the first picture of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi
 Face of evil ... Salman Abedi, Manchester bomber

The Manchester suicide bomber has been named by police as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. Police said they were working to establish whether Abedi - who blew himself up in the attack outside Manchester Arena, killing 22 people, including children, and injuring 59 others - was working alone or as part of a group. Armed officers raided an address in the Fallowfield area, where Abedi, believed to be Libyan but British-born, was registered as living, and carried out a controlled explosion.
 LIVE: The latest updates on the Manchester attack : Abedi, who was a student at Salford University, is registered as having lived with his mother, Samia Tabbal, father Ramadan Abedi and brother Ismail Abedi, who was born in Westminster in 1993. Abedi is understood to have a younger brother, Hashim, and a sister, whose Facebook profile says she is from Tripoli and lives in Manchester. A childhood friend of Ismail described Salman as "normal" and said:
"He was always friendly, nothing to suggest (he was violent). He was normal, to be honest."
He said the family was known to the Libyan community in the city. Abedi's father used to perform the call to prayer at the Didsbury Mosque and Ismail attended as a
volunteer. Mosque trustee Fawaz Haffar said he thought Abedi probably also attended.

Alan Kinsey, who lives opposite the home in Elsmore Road, told how more than 20 officers wearing specialist firearms uniforms with helmets and goggles carried out an explosion and then raided the house, sending in dogs to search the property. He said: "They didn't find anybody in the house at the time. We kept watching and they didn't bring anybody out."
Mr Kinsey said an Asian man in his mid 20s appeared to have been living in the house alone for the last year but had lots of visitors. Before that, he said, a number of different families had been living at the property.
Simon Turner, who said that two "young lads" lived in the house, was standing in the street when officers made the arrest. He said:
 "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'."
He said police surrounded the property in question and that officers "did something". "The next thing the door blew off the house," he said. "It was like something from a movie scene, it was unbelievable really."
The raid came as a 23-year-old man was arrested at an address in nearby Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, where Abedi is also understood to have lived. Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said:
"I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night's atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn't wish, therefore, to comment further. The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network."
A third raid was carried out at a flat in Carlton Road, Whalley Range, close to the other two addresses. Neighbors said a newlywed couple lived at the property and that they thought the man was Libyan but British-born.
Islamic State has claimed one of its members - a "caliphate soldier" - was responsible for the attack.
Speaking earlier on Tuesday, Theresa May said the perpetrator had chosen the time and place of his attack deliberately to cause "maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately". 

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