Salmon Abedi is the 22-year-old man who has been identified as the suicide bomber in the Manchester terror attack.
There is something in us as humans that just wants to know, how could a person be able to carry out such a deadly attack? There is something in us that wants to know the monster behind it all.
Well, we have found out a lot about this terrorist in the 24 hours following. Here it is.
Abedi was born in Manchester on New Year’s Eve in 1994 and was the third of four children. His parents were Libyan refugees who fled to the U.K. to escape the Gaddafi regime.
His father, as reported by MailOnline, is a former airport security worker.
Friends and neighbors said that Abedi seemed to be pretty normal growing up. He loved video games and football (soccer) and was a huge fan of Manchester United.
He attended multiple schools including Manchester Claremont Primary School, Burnage Academy, William Hulme and Stretford Grammar School.
But, in 2011, his father abruptly quit his job and left home to fight in Libya. This left his family to fend for themselves. And that turned out to be a very, very bad thing.
Abedi and his brothers appear to have followed in his footsteps by sharing stories of British jihadis fighting in Syria on social networks and even praying in the street.
The suicide bomber was heard chanting Islamic prayers in Arabic just weeks before the attack, a neighbour has revealed.
Lina Ahmed, 21, told MailOnline: ‘They were a Libyan family. A couple of months ago he [Salman] was chanting the first kalma [Islamic prayer] really loudly in the street. He was chanting in Arabic. He was saying ‘There is only one God and the prophet Mohammed is his messenger.’
Salman and his brother Ismail worshipped at Didsbury mosque, where their father is a well-known figure.
Ramadan is thought to be in Tripoli. His wife, Samia, is undestood to be in Manchester.
Some were shocked by Salman’s involvement in the terror attack. One member of Manchester’s Libyan community told The Guardian: ‘Salman? I’m astonished by this. He was such a quiet boy, always very respectful towards me. His brother Ismail is outgoing, but Salman was very quiet. He is such an unlikely person to have done this.’
However others had a different recollection of the 22-year-old. Mohammed Saeed, the imam of Didsbury Mosque and Islamic Centre, said Salman Abedi had looked at him ‘with hate’ after he gave a sermon attacking ISIS and Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.
He said a friend was so concerned that he got his adult children to sit beside Salman Amedi in case he attacked the imam.
Abedi had fallen into the terrorist hole. He was reportedly known to the security services.
He had even been suspected of returning to Libya as recently as this week. A school friend told reporters: “He went to Libya three weeks ago and came back recently, like days ago.”
A group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), lived within close proximity to Abedi in Whalley Range.
Among them was Abd al-Baset Azzouz, a father-of-four from Manchester, who left Britain to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of al-Qaeda.
Azzouz, 48, an expert bomb-maker, was accused of running an al-Qaeda network in eastern Libya. The Telegraph reported in 2014 that Azzouz had 200 to 300 militants under his control and was an expert in bomb-making.
Another member of the Libyan community in Manchester, Salah Aboaoba told Channel 4 news in 2011 that he had been fund raising for LIFG while in the city. Aboaoba had claimed he had raised funds at Didsbury mosque, the same mosque attended by Abedi. The mosque at the time vehemently denied the claim. “This is the first time I’ve heard of the LIFG. I do not know Salah,” a mosque spokesman said at the time.
Abedi wasn’t the only one in the family to have fallen into terrorist ways. His bother Ismail, 23, was being questioned by police on suspicion of involvement in the bombing.
Ismail is an IT manager who is married to a math teacher and worked as a teaching assistant giving Arabic classes and IT support at Didsbury mosque Quran school. It is believed that Ismail was once reported to a counter-terrorism unit after concerns were raised by members of the Muslim community.
Although Ismail is the main sibling being looked at, the other two children are probably being watch very closely as well.
The other brother Hashim has posted some comments on pro-ISIS websites. He showed interest in Reyaad Khan, the Welsh jihadi killed in a drone strike, and left a comment on an article where Khan’s mother begged her son to return home before he was killed.
Hashim’s comment said: “Inshallah we go together, man.”
Lastly, the sister. Jomana right now seems to be the “cleanest” of the bunch but that is a stretch. She attended the school in Whalley Range that hit the headlines in 2015 when two girls, twins Zahra and Salma Halane, left their homes and moved to IS-controlled Syria. Not necessarily a school with the best reputation.
We are sure more details are to come and this story is far from over.
Our hearts go out to the victims of this monstrous attack. Hopefully all who were involved will be caught and brought to justice.