by Tolu Omoyeni
British Prime Minister, Theresa May announced on Tuesday that the UK’s terror alert level has been raised from ‘severe’ to ‘critical’ following a terrorist attack that killed 22 including an eight-year-old girl and left over 100 injured after an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.
Although Islamist terror group, ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack, police have identified the lone perpetrator as 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi.
In her speech, Theresa May said “Abedi was born and brought up in Britain” but was of a Libyan descent. Police also claim to have knowledge of Abedi but didn’t regard him as a high risk since he was not being “actively investigated” for anything.
The Telegraph reports that Abedi is the second youngest of four children, born to a 5o-year-old mother, Samia Tabbal and s security officer father, Abu Ismail Abedi, who both emigrated to London as refugees in the wake of former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gadaffi’s regime.
Abedi’s parents lived in Fallowfield, South Manchester for ten years but returned to Libya after the fall of Gadaffi’s regime. His father, Abu Ismail Abedi was a popular personality who called prayers in the mosque and “has an absolutely beautiful voice“, according to a member of Manchester’s Libyan community who spoke to UK’s The Guardian. The anonymous source says that Abedi’s father will be “terribly distraught” upon hearing the news as he was “always very confrontational with Jihadi ideology“. He also added that there are less likely possibilities that Salman was radicalised in Tripoli. “It must have happened here“, he said.
Salman was reported to have made frequent travels to Libya and just returned from one of such trips days ago. His brother, Ismail worships at Didsbury Mosque and is a tutor at its Koran school. The Imam at Didsbury told The Telegraph that Salman “had shown him “the face of hate” when he gave a talk warning on the dangers of so-called Islamic State“. He claimed he wasn’t surprised that Abedi is a suspect in this sort of crime as he had a face of hate and was “a dangerous extremist“.
Salman lives in an Elsmore Road apartment 3.5 miles and 18 mins drive away from Manchester Arena where he allegedly attacked. A neighbour described him as a loner who “wore mainly traditional Islamic clothes” and gave him the middle finger when he complained to him about bad parking. Other reports say Salman would stand in the street and chant Islamic verses loudly.
Salman attended Manchester’s Salford University where he studied Business and Management but dropped out after two years as he rarely attended classes or participated in activities.
Police authorities say he used an “improvised explosive device” in the attack and footage shows he packed it in a suitcase which he placed on the ground to detonate. Salman Abedi also died in the explosion.
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