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Libyan gangsters linked to Manchester Arena bombing, police suspect

·2-min read
Salman Abedi - Manchester Police
Salman Abedi - Manchester Police

Police suspect that Libyan gangsters may be linked to the Manchester Arena bombing that left 22 dead in 2017, it has been reported.

Questions have been raised about a drug gang based at Devell House, a block of flats in south Manchester where the bomber stored explosive materials in a car.

Detectives suspect the group was "minding" the car for more than a month before Salman Abedi detonated his suicide device.

In the aftermath of the attack, one of the gang members, Ahmed Alzilitni, was seen "wiping" one of the car doors, the public inquiry into the attack heard last year.

CCTV captured others "checking" the car repeatedly after receiving phone calls which were later traced to Libya.

The mobile phones of members of the gang were also "cell sited" near the flat where Abedi assembled the device which he would later use to slaughter concert-goers.

The public inquiry was told that a witness reported hearing a conversation between some gang members in the street following the attack - but before Abedi was named by police as the killer - with one of them saying: "Our boy did good at the arena."

No members of the gang have ever been charged with any offences relation to terrorism.

Only one person - Abedi’s brother, Hashem - has been convicted in relation to the atrocity. He was jailed for a minimum of 55 years for 22 murders last year.

Greater Manchester Police last week confirmed that the inquiry into the gang members was still "active", The Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper said at least five other suspects have left Britain for Libya and three in the UK are indicating they will not give evidence at the inquiry into the bombing.

Detective chief superintendent Simon Barraclough told the newspaper: "The investigation continues to establish if anyone else was involved in the Arena attack. It would not be appropriate to comment upon any other investigations that may or may not be being conducted."

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