Monday 20 January 2020

Manchester bomber 'acted alone in lead-up to atrocity'

Salman Abedi. (AP)
Salman Abedi. (AP)

Dean Gray

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi bought most of the components used to make the bomb himself, police have said.

Many of the suicide attacker's movements and actions were "carried out alone" in the four days prior to the attack, Russ Jackson, head of the North West counter terrorism unit, said.

But police have yet to rule out whether he was part of a wider network.

Officers cordoned off a street in the Rusholme area of Manchester, where a property was being searched. Greater Manchester Police asked members of the public to avoid Banff Road, after the latest in a series of raids linked to their investigation.

Three men arrested over the May 22 attack were released without charge on Tuesday.

Det Ch Supt Jackson said much of the police investigation had been working through Abedi's last movements.

Officers have examined his movements on CCTV and other interactions he had with people, as well as phone calls he made.

"Our inquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core [bomb] components, and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack," said Det Chief Supt Jackson.

However, it was "vital" that police made sure he was not part of a wider network and there were a "number of things" about his behaviour that were a concern, he added.

Det Ch Supt Jackson said police were keen to find out why Abedi kept going back to the Wilmslow Road area of the city and wanted to find the blue suitcase he used during those trips.

Yesterday, one of Manchester's biggest mosques refused to bury the body of the terrorist, who killed 22 last week. It is thought his body remains unburied and councils and funeral directors have refused to deal with it.

According to the 'Daily Mail', the bomber's body has been kept in a morgue outside Manchester.

The 'Manchester Evening News' has reported that the city's authorities are reportedly doing "everything in their power" to stop him being cremated, buried, or laid to rest in any way in the Greater Manchester area.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with last Monday's attack. Five have been released without charge, while 11 are still in custody.

A source told the 'Manchester Evening News': "Just like Ian Brady, every effort is going in to making sure that there is not a chance Abedi can be buried or cremated in Greater Manchester."

Inquest proceedings will soon be heard, and the disposal of his body will be decided by the coroner.

A source told the newspaper that his body has never been kept in the same place as his victims.

Now, at least one mosque is taking the same course of action as the council.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News