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Manchester Arena terrorist's family 'claimed benefit cash which was used for bomb plot'

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Hashem Abedi, left, is on trial accused of helping his brother commit murder in the Manchester bombing. Right, emergency services on the scene after Salman Abedi detonated his device. (PA Images)

The family of the Manchester Arena bomber claimed thousands of pounds in benefits - some of which was used to finance the deadly plot, a court heard.

Samia Abedi – the mother of bomber Salman and his brother Hashem – had received more than £2,000 a month in payments, even after she left the UK for Libya.

Salman killed himself when he triggered a bomb – estimated to be 36kg – that killed 22 people and injured 260 at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May 2017.

The bomb was in a paint tin filled with homemade explosive TATP place inside a money tin and surrounded by shrapnel.

His brother Hashem, 22, is on trial accused of planning the attack with Salman.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said last week that Hashem is “just as responsible for the murder of the 22 people killed as was his sibling”.

Abedi denies the charges against him.

Hashem Abedi, the brother of Salman Abedi, denies the charges against him. (Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire)

On Monday, the jury heard how money from Samia Abedi’s benefits payments, which continued to be paid to her after she left the country in October 2016, were accessed to pay for a £300 industrial-sized battery and other alleged bomb-making equipment from B&Q.

Jurors were shown how Samia Ahmed was receiving £2,147 a month, including housing benefit and working and child tax credit.

A bank card connected to her account was used to withdraw thousands of pounds in cash, with a series of withdrawals usually worth £50, £250 and £300 being made.

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The welfare payments continued up until May 19, 2017, three days before the Manchester Arena bombing.

Bomber Salman Abedi was also paid £1,002.54 as part of his student loan in early January of that year, and four cash withdrawals of £790, £710, £800 and £700 were made from his RBS account on January 23, 2017.

He reported his card lost the next day, claiming there had been a fraud.

A further student loan payment was made at the end of January, worth £2,258.

On Monday, the court also heard how Salman Abedi met convicted terrorist Abdalraouf Abdallah in prison four months before the attack.

Abdallah was convicted of preparing terror acts by helping people and funding terrorism in 2016.

The trial continues.

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