Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was addicted to painkillers and sent to anger management classes for punching a woman, inquiry hears
- Abedi 22, murdered 22 people at Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017
- Abedi was said to have been involved in ‘minor criminality’ from the age of 15
- Inquiry into the attack is sitting at Manchester Magistrates’
The Manchester Arena bomber was addicted to painkillers and had attended anger management classes after punching a woman in the head at college, the inquiry into the attack as heard.
Salman Abedi also spent time in Libya with an Islamist group called the February 17 Martyr’s Brigade and attended raids in the hunt for supporters of the overthrown dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Abedi 22, murdered 22 people and injured hundreds more when he detonated his homemade bomb at the end of a Ariana Grande concert at the venue on May 22 2017.
Detective Chief Supt Simon Barraclough, the senior investigating officer, told the public inquiry into the attack that Abedi was said to have been involved in ‘minor criminality’ from the age of 15.
Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi was addicted to pain killers and had attended anger management classes after punching a woman in the head at college, the inquiry into the attack as heard
He was said to have stolen a mobile phone with a friend when still at Burnage College in Greater Manchester.
The phone was recovered and the victim did not want to press charges, the inquiry was told.
In November 2011, when still 16 and too young to drive, he was found guilty of driving offences.
Who are the Abedi’s?: The family who refuse to co-operate with an inquiry into the murder of 22 innocent people
Hashem Abedi, 23, helped his suicide bomber brother Salman plan the sick attack on 22 innocent people attending an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.
He helped build the bomb which his brother detonated at the concert.
Manchester-born Abedi was in Libya when the bomb went off and was arrested there and extradited to the UK.
Prior to the attack, the college drop-out, who worked as a takeaway driver, started asking the owner of the restaurant he was working for if he could take the metal vegetable oil cans away for scrap.
Hashem and Salman started using them to test homemade explosives they were experimenting with at their property on Elsmore Road, Manchester.
Hashem was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 55 years, after being convicted of 22 counts of murder.
He has refused to co-operate with the inquiry.
The father of the pair responsible for the Manchester Arena bombings is a Libyan-British national who fought against the Gaddafi regime in with militant group Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – which was designated a terrorist organisation by the US, according to the Guardian.
He was arrested in Libya alongside Hashem, but was released without charge.
In Manchester, Ramadan, worked as a security officer, and was assigned the role of muezzin at Didsbury mosque and calling out prayer five times a day.
In 2011, Ramadan he travelled back to Libya to fight in a civil war, reports the Guardian.
Shortly before he was arrested in Libya in 2017 he ‘condemned’ terrorist attacks on civilians.
He still lives in Libya and has refused to co-operate with the inquiry.
Samia Abedi is the mother of the brothers involved in the Manchester Arena bombing.
Little is known about her background, other than that she lived with Ramadan in south Manchester for more than a decade and that all of the pair’s children were enrolled in schools in the UK.
She is known to have left the UK in 2016, though continued to receive tax credits, child and housing benefit of about £550 a week, even though she left the UK for Libya in October 2016.
She still lives in Libya and has refused to co-operate with the inquiry.
Little is known about Joamana Abedi, the sister of the pair involved in the Manchester Arena bombings.
The 21-year-old is known to be living in Libya and has refused to co-operate with the inquiry.
In 2017, she gave an interview after the attack in which she described her brother as ‘kind and loving and that she was surprised by what he did.
She said he may have carried out the attack because he wanted revenge for US air strikes on Syria.
The eldest of the brothers, Ismail Abedi still lives in the UK.
He has previously apologised for the actions of his brothers.
In an interview with Sky News he said he had ‘no idea his brothers had taken this path’.
‘I want to apologise on behalf of my family to the victims, for all the pain Hashem and Salman caused,’ he said.
On his brother’s life sentence, Ismail, who has a wife and child, added: ‘I’m glad this has happened because I can put it all behind me, get on with my life and look after my family.’
He is claiming legal privilege in relation to the inquiry.
A year later, on October 11 2012, aged 17, he assaulted a woman by punching her in the head at Manchester College, the inquiry heard.
The case went through a process of ‘restorative justice’ in accordance with the victims’ wishes and the police officer in the case noted that Abedi had admitted the offence and was ‘very sorry.’
The notes said he was attending anger management classes but further investigations after the attack did not reveal any more about those classes, the inquiry heard at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
A few weeks later, on November 29 2012, Abedi was stopped for stealing a pair of tracksuit bottoms from Sports Direct in Manchester’s Arndale Centre.
He was convicted of handling stolen goods and his fingerprints were taken from his left hand, because his right hand was in plaster, which helped to confirm his identity after the bombing.
Sir John Saunders, the chairman, stopped the inquiry counsel from revealing the criminal records of Ismail, his older brother, and Ramadan, his father, other than to say they were ‘lightly convicted.’
Detective Chief Superintendent Barraclough also said how images recovered from the home of older brother Ismail indicated he was ‘sympathetic to the ideals of Isis’.
The 27-year-old was arrested the morning after the explosion.
A search of his home recovered a disk drive containing a number of images that could be ‘considered supportive of an extremist mindset’, said Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Barraclough, the senior investigating officer into the attack.
He said images of burnt bodies and one depicting an Isis flag with the words ‘I Pledge Allegiance’ were on the device.
Other images showed Ismail and a young Salman holding weapons – assessed to have been taken outside of the UK – and a video lecture from the late preacher and senior al Qaida recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki, the inquiry heard.
Another drive seized contained images of an armed Salman Abedi in camouflage clothing and a video file of his younger brother and other males firing weapons.
Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked Mr Barraclough: ‘Your view in your statement was ‘there are indications that Ismail Abedi may have been aware of the radicalisation or changing opinions of Salman Abedi’?’
‘Yes,’ said the detective.
Mr Greaney went on: ‘And you added ‘in some respects it also appears that Ismail was sympathetic to the ideals of Isis as evidenced by the material discovered on his devices which were seized from his home address when he was arrested’?’
Mr Barraclough confirmed: ‘Yes.’
Mr Greaney said Ismail would be called to give evidence and would have the chance to offer explanations, although when the inquiry was opened it was said he had declined to answer questions on the basis it may tend to incriminate him.
The inquiry into the bombing heard Ismail Abedi was held in custody until June 5 2017 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and was interviewed on 25 occasions.
The inquiry heard he told police he had concerns about Salman Abedi and their younger brother, Hashem – jailed for life this year for his part in the bomb plot – over them dropping out of their studies, had suspicions they were involved in fraud and members of the community had told him Hashem was taking drugs.
He raised those issues with their parents, Ramadan and Samia, who live in Libya, which caused ‘friction’ with his brothers who he said changed phone numbers frequently and when he did contact them they would hang up, the inquiry heard.
Ismail went on to provide a prepared statement in which he denied any knowledge or involvement in his brother’s actions or in the radicalisation or assistance of Salman Abedi in relation to the attack, Manchester Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told.
Mr Barraclough confirmed Ismail was released without charge but he added: ‘You must understand that the investigation continues in relation to this and there will be further attempts by the investigation team to speak to Ismail Abedi in due course.’
It comes a day after jailed Hashem was accused of ‘playing games’ with the families of victims.
On Monday, the inquiry was told Hashem had admitted for the first time his involvement in planning the bombing.
But relatives of the 22 people who lost their lives questioned why he took so long to admit his guilt, wasting £350,000 of legal aid in the process.
Figen Murray, who lost her son Martyn Hett, 29, said: ‘Thinking back to that courtroom in August, it would have been more bearable for all of us if he told the truth then.’
Jade Clough, 32, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, was injured in the blast along with nephew Jason, 20.
She told The Sun: ‘Why didn’t he just say that in court?
‘It’s like he’s playing games with us. He’s got £350,000 in legal aid for his trial. Can we have that money back now?’
Hashem, 23, had originally pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and plotting to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.
Abedi 22, murdered 22 people and injured hundreds more when he detonated his homemade bomb at the end of a Ariana Grande concert at the venue on May 22 2017
Detective Chief Supt Simon Barraclough, the senior investigating officer, told the public inquiry into the attack that Abedi (pictured arriving at the arena) was said to have been involved in ‘minor criminality’ from the age of 15
He did not give evidence at the Old Bailey but provided a pre-prepared defence statement in which he denied involvement, claiming to have been ‘shocked’ by what his brother had done and that he did not hold extremist views.
He went on to be convicted by a jury of all the offences and was handed 24 life sentences in August with a minimum term of 55 years before he can be considered for parole.
But on October 22 Hashem was interviewed in prison where he admitted he played ‘a full and knowing part’, the inquiry was told.
Images recovered from the home of the Ismail Abedi (left), 27, the older brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi (right), indicated he was ‘sympathetic to the ideals of Isis’, a police chief has told a public inquiry
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