Published: Thu, July 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Manchester bomber's brother appears in United Kingdom court charged with murder

Manchester bomber's brother appears in United Kingdom court charged with murder

Salman Abedi blew himself up, killing himself and 22 people in May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert at the arena.

Twenty-two people were killed in May 2017 when exiting a concert by American singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.

Libya on Wednesday extradited to the United Kingdom the brother of suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who attacked a concert in Manchester in May 2017 killing 22 people.

Sadek al-Sour, Libya's prosecutor, told Bloomberg the decision to extradite Abedi was made after he had a chance to argue his case in Libya's court of appeal.

"He has today been successfully extradited, for offenses relating to the Manchester Arena attack", Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a statement.

British police officers travelled to Tripoli on Wednesday in order to collect him and he was flown back to Biggen Hill airport on Wednesday afternoon. The vessel took them to Malta, where they caught a flight back to the UK.

Hashem Abedi, 22, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court charged with 22 counts of murder - one for each victim of the attack - as well as one count of attempted murder covering all other victims, and a charge of conspiring with his brother.

The Special Deterrence Force, who confirmed Abedi was being extradited to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, is one of several militias loosely aligned with the government that are battling Hifter's forces.

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Welcoming the extradition, Prime Minister Theresa May said: "This is clearly an important moment in the investigation".

A Libyan court long ago agreed to extradite Abedi to the United Kingdom, but the extradition process was delayed by fighting in Libya.

The extradition of Hashem means a long-delayed inquest can proceed and opens the way for a criminal trial that may shed light on how the plot was executed.

Rada, a counter-terrorism and anti-crime group aligned with the internationally recognised government in Tripoli, arrested Hashem shortly after the Manchester bombing on suspicion he had helped co-ordinate the attack.

United Kingdom members of parliament found past year that the M15 security service missed potential opportunities to prevent the bombing.

In the aftermath of the bombing, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) said it was responsible but security services have always treated the claim with scepticism.

The brothers' parents returned to Libya after Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.

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