Hashem Abedi, Brother of Manchester Arena Bomber, Admits Role in Attack

Libya-born Hashem Abedi, the brother of the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert in the UK in 2017, has admitted his role in the incident.

Hashem, 23, was jailed for murdering the 22 people who were killed in the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert at the AO Arena in Greater MAnchester in May 2017.

During his trial, Hashem denied helping his brother Salman, who was 17 at the time of the attack, plan the bombing that also left hundreds more injured.

However, new reports claimed Hashem told public inquiry lawyers he “played a full part and a knowing part in the planning and preparation for the Arena attack”.

He was said to have made the admission in October.

Hashem’s admission was confirmed to the inquiry by Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Barraclough, from Greater Manchester Police, who was the senior investigating officer on the case.

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The brothers reportedly spent months ordering, stockpiling and transporting the materials required for the attack. In April, a month before the blast, they joined their parents in Libya but Salman returned to the UK on 18 May.

He bought the final components needed for the bomb before carrying out the attack as fans left the arena on the evening of 22 May 2017.

Hashem was arrested shortly afterwards and extradited to Britain to face trial.

He did not give evidence during his trial, providing only a statement in which he denied 22 counts of murder, attempted murder and plotting to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

He told police that had he had any idea of the attack, he would have reported it to his mother initially and then to other family members to prevent it from happening.

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“I was shocked my brother had done this and felt bad for everybody. I could never have envisaged that my brother had it in him to do this to innocent people,” he said.

He said he was a practising Muslim but did not “delve too deep into anything other than I pray and read Koran”.

“I have no interest in Daesh [ISIS] and have no sympathy or support for their ideology and extremism. I am not a member of ISIS nor do I subscribe to their way of thinking or ideology.”

He was, however, convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey and jailed for life in August with a minimum term of 55 years.

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The Manchester Arena inquiry, which is being chaired by Sir John Saunders, started in September and is expected to last until the spring.

It aims to explore the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the attack, and whether it could have been prevented.

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