Prospects of preventing the Manchester bomber attack were quite considerable, as the British counter-terror agencies had calls and reports more than once that justify the arrest of Salman Abedi, but they never did.
Two people who were acquaintances with Abedi called the anti-terror hotline five years ago after he said that “being a suicide bomber was okay”.
Reports on Abedi’s extremism
Two community leaders also reported Abedi over his extremist and radical beliefs.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, told The Daily Telegraph Abedi was reported to the authorities two years ago “because he thought he was involved in extremism and terrorism. People in the community expressed concerns about the way this man was behaving and reported it in the right way using the right channels.” He added, “They did not hear anything since.”
In addition, the 22-year-old was also reported after a heated argument with an imam who was delivering a sermon against extremism at Didsbury Mosque.
Akran Ramadan, who is a member of the Libyan community in south Manchester, said he acknowledged that Abedi had been added on a “watch list” following the mosque ban. Moreover, he was reported to the British authorities for his extremist beliefs.
Abedi’s father and younger brother have been arrested in Libya, Abedi brothers said that he was aware of “all the details” of the terror attack orchestrated by his brother.
Flying black flags related to Islamist groups were seen from Abedi’s home in Manchester.
“There was a black flag with Arabic writing on it on the roof for a bit, a few years ago,” a neighbour told the BBC.
According to The Times, Security services were aware that Abedi was associated with Isis recruiter Raphael Hostey, also from Manchester, who was killed in a strike in Syria last year.
British authorities are investigating whether Abedi had any ties with extremist networks in Syria and Libya.
Such prospects were met with arguments that Abedi only travelled to Libya to visit his family and that he had never been to Syria, as Abedi’s father claimed.