Report: British intelligence was aware of extremist ideology of Manchester Arena bomber

Frank Morris, a senior British investigator, confirmed the existence of intelligence information about the Manchester Arena bomber that should have been looked into years before the attack.

The investigator indicated that there were about 1,300 messages between the terrorist Abdul Raouf Abdullah and a person named “Salman” over a period of several weeks in November 2014, but no effort was made to identify the last person, who later turned out to be Salman Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomber.

According to the investigator, the messages included references to martyrdom and incitement against non-Muslims, noting that those messages had been used as evidence of Abdul Raouf Abdullah’s extremist mentality in 2016, but investigators did not attempt to identify Salman.

“There was never a referral about Salman to the domestic counterterrorism police intelligence team, which could have conducted further investigations.” He added.

Morris, who was an inspector in the Anti-Terrorism Unit in the Northwest, confirmed that none of the officers involved in the investigation had considered referring the “Abedi” case for further investigation.

He also said that he was aware of the movements of the suicide bomber’s older brother, Ismail Abedi, in September 2015, when he was detained at Heathrow Airport upon his return from Libya, and his phone was found to contain ISIS propaganda, material encouraging jihadist violence, and photos of his family brandishing weapons in Libya.

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