Manchester Arena bomber's brother has new identity over fears of being attacked

Manchester Arena bomber's brother has new identity over fears of being attacked

10/23/2021 1:17:00 PM

Manchester Arena bomber's brother has new identity over fears of being attacked

Ismail Abedi, 28, fled the UK this week to avoid the public inquiry into the 2017 atrocity that killed 22 people when his brother Salman, 22, detonated a home-made device after an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena

Ismail Abedi, 28, was branded a “coward” this week after he fled the UK to avoid questions at the public inquiry into the 2017 atrocity.Angry relatives of the victims said: “His absence speaks volumes”.Ismail’s lawyers wrote to the inquiry this week saying “he is unwilling to give evidence”.

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And they added: “The inquiry is aware of the hostile media coverage that Mr Abedi has already received. This has led to the police helping to secure his home and family against attack. Get all the latest news sent to your inbox. Sign up for the free Mirror newsletter

“He has refused engagement with the media over safety concerns since the time of the attack and has been assigned a new identity to protect him.”Earlier this year the inquiry heard Ismail was also using the name Ben Romdhan.His lawyers added: “Requiring him to attend before the inquiry will place him and his family at further risk.”

The terror attack which killed 22 people was carried by Ismail’s brother Salman, 22, with the help of another brother Hashem, 24. Ismail was arrested shortly after the bombing but was released without charge and has denied involvement or knowledge of the plot.

He was due to give evidence at the public inquiry on Thursday.But it was revealed he left the UK in August, despite being stopped by police at an airport 24 hours earlier, and has failed to return. It is believed he is now in the Middle East.His lawyers said he was questioned for six hours after being stopped at Manchester Airport and his electronic devices were “were seized and examined before he was allowed to travel some 24 hours later.”

Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, said Ismail had been “able to flee and laugh in the face of the inquiry”.And a statement read outside the inquiry on Thursday by Sean Gordon from legal firm Slater and Gordon, which represents some of the families, said: “A man who had genuinely rejected extremism would want to help the search for truth and would have been here today.

"Ismail Abedi is clearly not such a person but has taken the coward’s way out.“His absence speaks volumes. We want to put on record our horror [he] could be allowed to leave the country in the face of an upcoming appearance at a statutory inquiry, which he had been ordered to attend.”

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Islamist extremist Salman killed himself when he detonated a home-made device after an Ariana Grande concert.Hashem Abedi, 24, helped build the bomb and is serving at least 55 years after being convicted last year of offences including 22 counts of murder.

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